Best Ways to Beat Workplace Fatigue
Everyone has those days where it’s hard to muster the energy to plow through pages of proofreading or finish writing a report that’s due by 5 p.m. If a cup of coffee or trip to the vending machine does little to perk you up day after day, you may be more than just tired.
“Workplace fatigue isn’t just being physically tired—it’s being mentally exhausted,” writes Kayla Matthews in a blog for RescueTime, a company that helps workers become more productive. “Not only are your energy levels low, but so is your motivation. When we’re fatigued like this, it can make it difficult to concentrate and stay organized. And when it lasts for days or weeks, despite adequate sleep, it can leave you feeling anxious, depressed, and on the road to burnout.”
Poor sleep can contribute to the problem, but workplace fatigue often doesn’t respond to a night or two of good sleep. It can also be hard to power through your natural periods of low energy, such as a mid-afternoon slump. Unfortunately, if the fatigue persists, your stress level can ratchet up and burnout can set in. Try these wake-up calls to get re-energized.
1. Find Your Rhythm
Your body has a natural circadian rhythm. Try to schedule the tasks that take the most brain power when you know you’ll have the most energy and then set aside the hours you're usually less alert to do work that’s simpler for you, such as answering email.
2. Manufacture Motivation
Beating procrastination is easier said than done, but there are some tricks to get you moving, such as clearing clutter from your desk. “You can also start motivating yourself by implementing a five-minute rule. If you find yourself procrastinating on a project, spend just five minutes on it. After five minutes, you’ll usually end up doing the whole thing anyway,” writes Matthews.
3. Take a Power Nap
Combat tiredness with a break. If you’re able to take a nap, set your phone alarm to wake you up in 15 to 20 minutes, or otherwise you may end up groggy and even more fatigued. “Your body craves a break to rest and recover after about 90 minutes of work. Once you understand this rhythm, you can use it to your advantage by scheduling your breaks so you are resting and recovering when your body needs it most,” Matthews writes.
4. Zen Out
Meditation and yoga can reduce stress and keep anxiety at bay, which in turn can help dial down workplace fatigue.
About the author(s)
Barbara Ruben was a senior content creator at CASE.