I chose this photo from my collection because however you
are travelling along a canal
you have to go at your optimum pace for your purpose. M'reen
These 7 tips can
help you back off and be even more productive.
If your brain is always working overtime to make it
through your never-ending to-do list,
it may be time to give it a rest.
Do you ever feel overwhelmed just thinking about all you
have to do?
Do you find yourself snapping at others who seem to be
too laid back?
Have you given up too many things that you used to enjoy
because you're too focused on work?
You may be a victim of mental fatigue.
Mental fatigue is the result of brain over-activity. It
can happen when you expend too much mental effort on a project or task. You may
pride yourself on your laser-focusing ability, spending long hours on a task,
day in and day out. But every strength, taken to the extreme, becomes a
Your overdrive eventually catches up with you, and you
deplete your mental gas tank.
The result is mental fatigue.
Research shows that mental fatigue results in an
inability to concentrate
and an increase in simple mistakes.
Unchecked, mental fatigue leads to feeling stressed,
irritated that you can't keep up
and even depressed. What's more, being in a state of
mental fatigue not only affects your well-being, it also spills over into your
interactions with family and others you associate with.
It's draining for them to be around someone who is
continuously mentally exhausted.
If you think you may be mentally fatigued, here are seven
tips to help you prevent and combat it.
1. Stop Low-Yield
Be ruthless about how you spend your time. Instead of
mindlessly moving from one task to the next, focus on activities that grow your
business. Stop burning away hours reading Facebook updates
or answering useless emails. Instead, keep those
activities for a scheduled, timed break,
then move away to something more worthwhile. Don't meet
with acquaintances who want to get together for coffee—these are often people
who have time to waste and want to waste it with you.
Use the time you've saved to learn new things, and pursue
activities that increase your well-being and the quality of your life. Focus on
strengthening your bonds with family, friends and associates. Do what fuels
your mind and fills your heart. If you rescue wasted time consistently
over the course of a year, you'll be richer for it and
will feel more energized.
2. Use the Timebox
Timebox is a term that originated in the software
It's defined as a period of time during which a task must
Entrepreneurs like Steve Pavlina use
timeboxing as a way to manage work projects.
Because timeboxing forces you to limit the time you allot
to certain tasks that run the risk
of taking far more time
than they're worth, it counteracts any perfectionist
to the wrong tasks and ensures that you do the best job
you can within a set time frame.
3. Try Focus@Will
a music service that's based on the latest research in neuroscience.
As the company behind this intersection of art and
most people can only concentrate for about 100 continuous
"The focus@will system makes it easier for you to
get into the concentration flow, and then keeps you there. It works in the
background by subtly soothing the part of your brain, the limbic system,
always on the lookout for danger, food, sex or shiny things."
focused, you can get more done in a shorter amount of time, so you can free
up more time and reduce your chances of mental fatigue. Entrepreneur Sean
Ogle described the program
as "magic." You can try it out for free for 30
days and see what happens.
4. Be Kind to Your
Staring at a computer for long
hours while you work causes eye fatigue, which can tire you out and
negatively affect your ability to focus. Fortunately, there are many things you
can do to avoid this. For example, every once in a while, look away from your
computer screen and focus on distant objects or take a minute to stare out the
window. Also, lower the brightness of your monitor—research shows that when you
lower the brightness, the reduction in your ability to focus
by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.
5. Don Your Sneakers
Research reported in Science Daily reveals
that a bout of exercise makes the brain
to fatigue. According to the study, "These findings
could lead to the enhancement
of athletic performance through reduced mental
and physical fatigue."
What works for athletes can also work for you.
6. Learn to Do
Nothing Once in a While
We're a nation of doers—continuously on the go, rushing
from meeting to meeting,
project to project. Even when we're on vacation, a large
number among us spends more time
surfing the Internet rather than surfing the
John Lennon once said, "Everybody seems to think I'm
lazy. I don't mind, I think they're crazy. Running everywhere at such a speed,
till they find there's no need.”
Planning for a little idleness in your week is a smart
move if you're trying to refresh your spirit
—it's a powerful antidote to mental
7. Reduce Your
Sleep debt is the difference between the amount of sleep
you should be getting
and the amount you actually get. It's not uncommon for professionals to
several hours of sleep for a few days in a row. This is a sure-fire way to invite mental
Research shows, on average, Americans lose one hour of
sleep each night—more than two full weeks of slumber every year. This has a
negative impact on our health. As the research shows, you can't train yourself
to be a "short sleeper." What's more, a study found that the more tired
you get, the less tired you feel, which makes you think you're not shorting
It's time to earn back your lost sleep: Make it a
practice to go to bed when you're tired
and give your body the rest it needs so you can stop
mental fatigue in its tracks.
"The energy of the mind is the essence of
life," Aristotle said. Energy is everything. Mental fatigue saps us of our
most precious life energy. These seven strategies will help you guard against