Often made out as the easiest jobs ever, office jobs are hugely underrated. After all, who could possibly grow tired of answering emails, Excelling, Wording, Power-Pointing, and typing, all, day, long?
The fact of the matter is that an office job, no matter how boring it may seem, still drains you. It creates stress, and whenever we’re placed under stress, our bodies produce more adrenaline, which tires us more than you’d imagine.
Obviously, you won’t experience the same kind of exhaustion from working a desk job from nine to five then you would feel from strenuous exercise, but it’s an exhausting task nonetheless.
According to Zucker Hillside Hospital Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Curtis Reisinger, “people’s emotions are contagious, and when we have mental and emotional responses to the things that happen in our office environment, it takes physical exertion.” That co-worker of yours who keeps on complaining or the one that’s sad all day long – it totally rubs off on you and becomes a shared, group behavior. Once you realize that the state of your environment also drains you, that exhaustion becomes even more apparent.
While you’re quietly carrying on with your regular day-to-day activities at the office, you’re subconsciously preempting responses you’ll give to a colleague’s comments during certain scenarios. You need to concentrate on your job at hand as well as that of the office environment. All of this is simply exhausting. People who suffer from anxiety or depression are also much more likely to experience this kind of physical exhaustion due to mental fatigue much more severely.
How to Combat Mental Fatigue at the Office
If your brain is working overtime to make it through the ever ending to-do list, it may be time to give it a break. Here are some strategic tips for preventing mental fatigue at the office:
- Seize restful opportunities.
There are plenty of moments during the day which is perfectly fine for giving your mind some time to rest. Have you ever noticed how you scroll through your phone during certain times of the day? Those are key resting and relaxing moments. You can try doing some slow breathing during these moments or simply just pay special attention to the here and now. You should focus on practicing mindfulness for real life and not be trying to overcomplicate the whole scenario.
- Cut down on the excess sensory input.
Excess light and noise can be a real drainer that emphasizes mental fatigue. Dry sitting in a dark room for a few minutes each day where you won’t be interrupted by any noises. You can also try wearing headphones while you’re working, which can be useful to help block out office politics.
- Schedule some relaxation time.
The fact that you’ve got too much going on with your to-do list is a very real threat to your time, but so is your mental state. Before you can take care of work, you need to be taking proper care of yourself, and part of that TLC is relaxation. Make sure you schedule some time in your diary to do some proper relaxing and do not feel guilty about doing so when the time arrives.
- Be realistic about how much you can get done in a day.
A lot of us never make it through our to-do lists on busy days. Sometimes you just have to embrace that you can’t get everything done in one day. Remember that we live in a world of opportunities, there’s always room to do more and achieve more, but some days, it will not be on that specific day. If you can’t get around to doing something today, there will always be another or better day to tick it off the list.
There are certain types of effort that pay dividends beyond just your initial input, like when you discover a more effective and efficient way of getting a certain task done. Try to prioritize these type of activities so that you can set yourself up to free up more of your time as well as your mental and physical energy in the long run!