There are two kinds of tiredness that can affect us at work – physical fatigue and mental fatigue. Of the two, physical fatigue is easier to deal with. Usually, taking a day or two off to get some more sleep or making a change or two to your food or exercise regimen is enough to do the trick. Mental fatigue is a lot harder to deal with. If you’re feeling mentally burnt out, you might find that no amount of rest, food, or exercise shifts the feeling. You’re burned out, and you can’t focus on tasks as well as you normally can, and it’s enormously frustrating.
The more mentally fatigued we become, the worse we perform at work. The worse we perform at work, the more problems we’re likely to encounter, and then we have to work twice as hard to set those problems right. That leads to more fatigue. It can become an utterly miserable vicious circle if we don’t do something to correct our course, and that’s why we’ve written this article.
If you’re feeling physically fit but mentally at your lowest ebb, try these tricks to bring things back into focus during your working day.
Use Mood Music
If you log onto YouTube, you’ll find literally hundreds – perhaps even thousands – of videos that claim to be able to help you concentrate and focus. They’re usually labeled as “study videos,” but they’re just as applicable when it comes to concentrating on a specific task at work. They take many different forms. Some of them feature music, whereas others broadcast white noise combined with natural sounds. Buy yourself some noise-canceling headphones, put them on, and give some of them a try. Scientists have proven that music can help us to perform tasks more efficiently. You just need to find the right sort of music to suit your needs. As a bonus, the noise-canceling headphones will do away with a lot of the distractions that might otherwise get in your way.
Do Nothing Occasionally
It’s no wonder you feel so fatigued if you’re always doing something. We all know the benefits of a busy and fulfilled life, but it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. If you’re someone who has to plan out every hour of every day of your life, you’re probably doing too much. Your brain is always switched on. You know you have a meeting at 10, a lunch appointment at 1, another meeting at 3, hundreds of emails to read and respond to at 4, and a whole load of important checks to do by 6. Then you know you need to be on time for the gym at 7, home by 8, and the list goes on. You’re not giving yourself or your brain any time to pause, and your brain desperately needs that. As strange as it might sound, there are medically proven benefits to doing nothing at all. If you feel like your world will fall apart if you don’t have a plan for every moment of it, plan to do nothing. Fit it into your schedule. Sit, and breathe, and rest. You don’t have to go to sleep if you don’t want to – all you need to do is give your brain an idle hour or two to dial down the stress level.
See An Optician
Is it your brain that’s tired, or might it actually be your eyes? Would you be able to tell the difference? Most people can’t. Our eyes begin to suffer from the aging process before almost any other part of our bodies. By the time we’re beyond our mid-20s, we’re already into the degenerative stage. It’s sad, but it’s true! Just because you didn’t need glasses when you were in your teens doesn’t mean you don’t need them in your early 30s. Even if your vision has only degenerated very mildly during your adulthood, your eyes are still straining a little every day to make up the difference. Over time they get tired – and so do you. Does your monitor really need to be that bright? When did you last look away from it? Take regular breaks from your screen – by which we mean your small screens as well as your big ones – and check in with your optician to see if you might need reading glasses or other visual aids.
Change Your Usual Approaches
Albert Einstein is often quoted as having said that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result.” He never actually said that, but the point is an excellent one. If you do the same thing every day, you’ll get the same result, and you’ll eventually be both bored and tired of it. There’s only one place in the world that repeating the same action over and over again might yield increasing rewards, and that’s online slots. If you were logged into one right now and hitting the ‘spin’ button on the Fluffy Favourites slot, you might eventually land yourself an enormous cash payout even if your approach and methodology haven’t changed. Online slots are not real life. Even if they were, the inevitable truth is that even the luckiest online slots players eventually go on a losing streak. Review your daily routine and ask if every little piece of it is still relevant. What can go? What might be improved? The novelty of a new approach will boost your energy levels, and you should find that your focus and motivation come along with them.
In addition to all of the above, be conscious of not wasting time on low-yield activities at all times. What’s the net benefit of what you’re doing, and is it a worthwhile use of your time? Does every email merit a response? Do you need to be in every meeting you’re invited to? Push back against timewasting exercises and prioritize the high-yield activities instead. They’re the ones that will give you a sense of achievement when you’re done, and that’s what really keeps your energy levels up. Your mental fatigue can be shifted, and your focus can come back – you just need to nurture it and give it space to grow. Be kind to yourself, and your brain will be kind to you!