5 Reasons Why Being Productive Makes You Tired (& How to Fix It!)
Do you find it difficult to concentrate and wonder why you are tired after a productive day at work? It could be intense emotions, multitasking, or interruptions and trying to refocus. Perhaps even poor task planning and prioritization or sleep deprivation.
Your body can get exhausted from thinking and working to the point that all you want to do when you get home is crawl into bed and rest.
This article details some reasons you often feel tired after a productive day. But we’ll also tell you how you can keep productivity at a high level without getting tired.
If you follow the steps below, your productivity could improve.
The practical tips include taking breaks, speed reading, and using the Pomodoro technique. We also advise that you work in time blocks, exhaust peak performance hours, and work on your memory.
Why do you feel exhausted when you have a productive day?
You feel exhausted after a long day of work because you engage your mind and body, working it up with strong emotions. If you multitask, tackle too many tasks, stretch your brain limits, and overwork, your body will feel like you were gardening all day.
1. High-Intensity Emotions
High-intensity emotions drain you mentally. It is psychological. You could be ecstatic or work up and explode with rage. Positive and negative emotions are either high intensity or quiet-low intensity.
It’s not hard to see how strong negative emotions might quickly overwhelm you. To some folks, rage and anguish are helpful when channeled towards the success of a specific goal.
On the other hand, when procrastinating a task until the last minute, the rush of adrenaline, “positive stress,” which pushes you to finish your task, uses high-intensity feelings to stress the body. The stress will exhaust you by the time you get to the last job.
It could also be a joy. When you’re super excited, you activate the sympathetic nervous system. The brain works extra hard to produce more dopamine and serotonin hormones. Sometimes even endorphins. You sweat, and your heartbeat quickens as the heart pumps more blood. Your cheeks may flush, and you may feel a rush of adrenaline. In the end, your body works extra.
Positive and negative emotions elicit the same reaction. Your body gets exhausted. The science behind intense feelings is the arousal of the amygdala.
To calm yourself down sufficiently after amygdala activation, you need to deploy effort and emotion-regulation skills from a separate area of your brain, the prefrontal cortex. Trying to control these feelings takes extra work.
2. Sleep Deprivation
Your brain needs to rest to be productive the next day. A good night of sleep will increase productivity. Many of us are trying to do more at the expense of sleep. So we wake up tired, work tired, and get little sleep. That hampers concentration levels and affects performance.
A sleep regimen in sync with your circadian rhythm will help you work better.
Are you the type of person who reads emails while conversing with a client? It’s time you stopped. Multitasking derails your productivity and ability to complete a task accurately. The assignments take longer than they should, and stress increases when handling two jobs simultaneously.
The fact is, your brain cannot handle two tasks requiring concentration simultaneously. That’s a fact. You continuously switch from one to the other, and when you try to do both, you compromise on quality.
As research findings reveal, these switches can cost you up to 40% of your productive time, so you will be busy but get nothing done. You are also likely to suffer from burnout after trying to do a million things simultaneously.
What if I told you that the average American worker spends 2.1 hours a day on distractions? Also, it takes roughly 15 minutes or more to refocus.
Distractions cause you to lose track of thoughts. Those awesome ideas and insights get buried by an avalanche of messages that leave you overwhelmed and unproductive.
Interruptions today include pop-ups, email notifications, instant messaging, social media notifications, phone calls, and any other thing that takes your mind away from the job.
A study revealed that interruptions negatively impact the job when beginning a task or ending it.
5. Poor Task Planning and Task Prioritization
Ever tried to accomplish so much but ended up doing nothing? Failure to plan, schedule and pick the most urgent task results in low productivity.
When you plan tasks and pick the most urgent ones, then reserve your energy to tackle these most urgent ones, rather than hovering around too many pointless tasks and wasting time, you achieve more.
Get into the nitty-gritty of the task. A detailed plan with milestones and expected outcomes is an excellent road map so that nothing is left forgotten or unfinished.
How can you be productive without getting tired?
You can be productive without getting tired if you make the best of peak productive hours, take breaks, speed read, train your mind to retain more, and work with a plan of two or three tasks.
Study your brain and know your peak performance hours
Our bodies follow a circadian rhythm of active hours and shutdown hours. However, there are peak hours when you are most active. Some people will say they are morning people, and others work best at night.
Whichever time works best for you, use it to tackle the most challenging and most complicated tasks.
Change your working routine to include peak performance hours as “quiet time,” where there are no distractions. No phones, no emails, no social media, just focussing on the significant milestone or goal for the day.
When you focus on a goal, it is easier to tick it as done successfully, especially if you break it down into small, rewardable achievements.
A Wall Street Journal publication reveals that downtime devoid of any kind of distractions improves productivity. Software engineers working for Intel managed to develop patents and tick on their tasks as done after management decided to weed out emailing and messaging for four hours.
Improve your memory
After studying your brain to discover your most productive hours, take up some memory-boosting classes. This Iris Reading Maximizing Memory course will exercise your mind to retain more of what you read with time.
You will not struggle to remember what you read or try to memorize long texts because you will have mastered skills to improve your memory.
Ditch that long to-do list for a few tasks for the day
An endless to-do list can be overwhelming and disheartening, especially when you notice you are nowhere near finishing the assignments. It would be best to consider having a simple, productive, and detailed task plan.
A plan with two or three tasks at maximum keeps you motivated as you tick against the tasks after finishing them. Do not overwhelm yourself with work.
Take a real break
If you realize that you are sluggish and your attention keeps flipping, it’s time to allow your brain to reboot by taking a break. You could have a talk with friends, walk, hydrate, get a cup of chocolate, and most importantly, take a power nap.
Power naps of half an hour or less allow your body to recharge and improve concentration and retention.
The break, however, should not be on a screen watching some movie or scrolling endlessly on social media.
Work in time blocks
Working in blocks throughout the day could help you achieve more than planned. Figuring out how long you can concentrate fully on a task is crucial. For some, the attention span is 11 minutes; for others anywhere between 15 and 25 minutes.
You could borrow many techniques when working in time blocks, but the Pomodoro technique is effective. It recommends that you work for 25 minutes before taking a five-minute break.
Iris Reading recommends some apps that could help you with the Pomodoro technique.
Speed reading can help you cover lots of text with practice to increase productivity. Reading on a wide range of topics improves your language skills and vocabulary to speed read and pick the most crucial discussion topics and keywords.
A successful day at work will leave you bone-tired because you are psychologically draining the body with high-intensity emotions all day. Often, you will get overwhelmed by the cacophony of interruptions and frustrated by the never-ending task list.
Anytime you try to multitask, you become more tired and take more time completing the job. You’d rather concentrate on each job at a time.
Poor task planning and scheduling will most likely lead to pointless activities and nothing tangible to report at the end of the day. Sleep deprivation will make you concentrate less, retain close to nothing, and have an unproductive day.
Overcome fatigue by quietly working when you are most active. Take breaks, speed read, improve your retention, work supercharged in 25 minutes, rest and repeat.
Head over to Iris Reading for more classes on productivity to ensure you accomplish more.