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Too Tired to Do Everything? How to Live Better Without Burning Out

Productivity guilt

Productivity guilt

Productivity guilt happens when you feel overwhelmed by not attending to all the things you know you "should" be doing and having a nagging feeling that you're wasting time.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Too Tired to Do Everything? How to Live Better Without Burning Out

Too Tired to Do Everything? How to Live Better Without Burning Out

https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2020/01/13/too-tired/

scotthyoung.com

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Key Ideas

Hidden contradictions of life advice

In practice, adding too many suggestions for living well will create a conflict with each other. 

Suggestions are almost always given on their own, without including a wider context. You can read about why exercise, reading or meditating are good on their own, but rarely find information about how they trade-off against each other.

Being too tired

There are two different types of feeling tired.

  1. The feeling you have as you're about to start an activity. Once you actually do it, your mood changes and you find you're glad you did it.
  2. The second kind persists throughout the activity itself. You find you struggle with pushing through more than five minutes of it. If you feel like this for weeks at a time, your habits are probably unsustainable.

Doing 'everything'

You cannot do everything you should. It is okay to acknowledge that time for one activity means less time for another.

In theory, there's enough time for everything - in practice, there are always trade-offs.

More hassle than help

Distinguish between a lack of inertia and persistent exhaustion.

If you push yourself to the gym but feel good afterward, it's good. But if you always feel exhausted in everything, you need to modify your priorities.

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Self-control

It’s your ability to resolve conflicts between your short-term desires and your long-term goals.

For example, successful self-control means sacrificing immediate pleasure (cookies a...

Why self-control matters

People who have high self-control aren’t missing out on enjoyment. Not being able to resist temptation and enjoying life are not the same things.

They tend to eat in a healthily way, exercise more, sleep better, drink less alcohol, smoke fewer cigarettes, achieve higher grades at university, have more peaceful relationships, and are more financially secure.

Biological limits to self-control

Research showed that self-control is ultimately limited by our biology. We can’t exercise effortful self-control indefinitely – the brain has to do regular maintenance to remain functional.

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Describing mental fatigue
Describing mental fatigue

It is the feeling that your brain just won't function properly. People will describe it as brain fog. You can't concentrate, and simple tasks take too long. You find th...

Causes of mental fatigue

Contributing factors to mental fatigue are poor nutrition, lack of sleep, hormonal imbalances, or cognitive overload. Cognitive overload can take the following forms:

  • When you focus on a single task for an extended period of time.
  • When you spread your attention across too many things.
  • Worrying about tasks. It is as mentally taxing as doing the task.
Give your brain high-quality fuel

Your brain is fuelled with the same food as your muscles. What you eat has an enormous impact on your cognitive functioning.

  • Cut down on refined sugars as it decreases alertness. Aim for sustained energy levels throughout the day.
  • Plan your meals in advance. If you wait until you're hungry, you're already low on energy and willpower and will reach for a quick energy boost in the form of sugar.
  • Don't skip breakfast. Without it, you may likely crash in the middle of the morning. Eat more eggs, yogurt, and oatmeal to sustain your energy levels until lunch.
  • Snack mid-morning and mid-afternoon to give your body consistent fuel.
  • Stay hydrated with water. Mild hydration can negatively impact cognitive performance.
  • Listen to your body to figure out what makes you feel best. The same nutrition advice won't work for everyone.

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Sticking to a healthy lifestyle

Staying in shape is mostly about program compliance.

It’s not about having the best fitness program, but about having one that’s good enough, eating less junk food and making sure you...

Off limits foods

Successful dieters usually declare certain foods to be completely out of bounds, or allowed only during occasional designated cheat meals, rather than expecting themselves to eat everything in moderation.

Saying no to bad habits
It might seem like a simple matter of self-control. But it turns out that people with high self-control may not necessarily be better at resisting temptation. They might just experience it less often in the first place.

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