There are, however, a number of ways we can help prevent mental fatigue by taking a few simple measures.
Clear your workspaceWhen we’re busy, it’s easy to neglect our workspace, but the mere act of tidying and decluttering can have a positive effect on our minds. Not only will you be able to find things more easily, you will start to feel less stressed.
Allocating timeWe all have different times of day when we feel that we're most productive and motivated, so try to allocate the right times to the right tasks. Completing the more mentally demanding tasks when you feel you're at your peak and leaving the simpler, more monotonous jobs for when you've less mental energy can massively increase your productivity at work.
Create achievable to do listsMaking lists is a great way to prioritise your workload and gain perspective on the tasks ahead. However, we can sometimes overdo it and cause ourselves more stress by trying to overachieve. Create realistic goals so that you actually see your list decreasing rather than increasing. By writing a new list each day, you're more likely to see your accomplishments rather than your failings and you will leave work feeling positive.
Pay attention to your sleep patternsGetting a good night’s sleep is vital for avoiding mental fatigue and for refreshing your mind so that you're more alert and focused. Try to get into a bedtime routine where you give your mind time to wind down and quieten before you actually go to sleep. Switch off your mobile devices or the television and spend half an hour perhaps having a bath or reading before you attempt to sleep.
Take regular breaks at workWe're all entitled to breaks at work so it’s important to take time out when you feel like your mind is getting weary. Even if it’s just for five minutes to refill your water bottle and rest your eyes from the computer screen, these little breaks will work wonders.
Eat healthy snacksChoose healthy snacks such as bananas, seeds and nuts to munch on throughout the day. As well as being a great source of energy, they will stop the temptation of grabbing a bag of crisps or a bar of chocolate, which will inevitably result in a slump in energy. Try to drink a couple of litres of water each day to help keep your brain sharp.
RelaxationMake time for some form of relaxation every day when you're at home. Even ten minutes meditating, practising yoga or even just going for a walk can lower your heart rate, reduce blood pressure and calm your mind.
Take a proper holidayAlthough an exotic holiday in the sun may be our idea of heaven, this isn’t just what taking a holiday is about. Taking a proper holiday means switching off from everything that could be damaging to your wellbeing. Turn off your phone, put your out of office on your emails and totally escape anything that may cause brain drain. If you let those closest to you know that you will be unavailable for a weekend or a week, hopefully you can switch off without feeling guilty.
Forbes offers more advice on how you can overcome mental fatigue but if you feel that need further help, speak to your GP or health professionals like First Psychology.