Disconnect at the end of the workday - Deepstash

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Mental Fatigue: What to Do When Your Brain Is Too Tired to Think Straight

Disconnect at the end of the workday

It is helpful to have a work shutdown ritual - a consistent series of tasks that tell your brain that it can stop thinking about work for the day:

  • Update and organize your to-do list. Your brain can stop thinking about the tasks knowing that you won't forget about them.
  • Schedule a commitment at the end of the day to put you out of work mode - a dinner with friends or a group fitness class.
  • Turn off all notifications from work apps on your phone or delete work apps from your phone.

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Get More Sleep

Lack of sleep can result in you feeling lethargic, grumpy and tired. If you often feel this way, you may want to consider whether you’re getting enough sleep.

Try and aim for around 7 hour...

Reduce Stress

Feelings of stress can mean that you struggle to concentrate, experience racing thoughts, difficulty switching off and tiredness.

Strategies to improve your energy levels include taking some time for yourself to relax, reading or going for a walk.

Move More

One study found that sedentary people with persistent, unexplained fatigue decreased their tiredness by around 65% just by regularly participating in low-intensity cycling.

Get up and move your body like brisk walking or cycling to boost your energy levels.

Keep in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle
  • Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day;
  • Avoid sleeping in, even on weekends;
  • Limit naps to 15 to 20 minutes in the early afternoon;
Melatonin

Is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. 

Your brain secretes more melatonin when it’s dark, making you sleepy, and less when it’s light, making you more alert. 

However, many aspects of modern life can alter your body’s production of melatonin and shift your circadian rhythm

Influence exposure to ligh

During the day:

  • Expose yourself to bright sunlight in the morning. 
  • Spend more time outside during daylight. 
  • Let as much natural light into your home or workspace as possible.

At night:

  • Avoid bright screens within 1-2 hours of your bedtime.
  • Say no to late-night television.
  • Don’t read with backlit devices. 
  • When it’s time to sleep, make sure the room is dark.
  • Keep the lights down if you get up during the night.
Explaining Cognitive Load Theory (CLT)
Explaining Cognitive Load Theory (CLT)

CLT identifies our minds as information processing systems.

When we work on an unfamiliar task, we depend on our "working memory". It is limited in its capacity and period of tim...

Overloading the working memory capacity

Your working memory capacity can be overloaded in three ways, making you feel mentally drained:

  • New routines can prevent you from the ability to do things on auto-pilot and will instead draw on your limited working memory capacity.
  • Anxiety also reduces your working memory capacity, making it more challenging to work through any mental problem that needs problem-solving.
  • Distractions that are not directly relevant to your tasks can further increase the demand on your working memory capacity.
Effective remedial strategies
  • Try to establish new routines and master them so that you are not constantly using your working memory capacity for mundane tasks.
  • It's important to put effort into stress management, meaning eating well, exercising, establishing a bedtime routine, and finding relaxing activities.
  • Focus on organising your time for your tasks and try to be disciplined about distractions.