How to do your best when you are mentally fatigued ?

As project managers, many of us believe we are excellent self-managers. We begin each project with clear objectives and timelines for doing them. We are energized and focused on doing good work, however as unexpected challenges pop-up and goals slip, our mental energy lowers. Now, when faced with a new deadline or the need to move the project forward, we feel mentally fatigued, making it difficult to stay focused on tasks and tougher to make good decisions.

Research has shown that our brain needs to exercise different circuits throughout the day to perform at its best. This suggests we should try to provide our brains with a variety of experiences during the day to keep it fresh and creative for the work we must do. Most productivity experts agree that taking a break and temporarily doing something else is a good strategy for restoring mental reserves. This makes sense, since shifting from a tedious task provides our brains the opportunity to rest.

The following 4 tips can replenish your mental energy and help you get back to performing at your peak:

Get Moving

We all know that exercise is good for our bodies and overall health, but studies have shown that exercise can have a positive impact on our creativity as well. Just taking a quick walk can recharge you mentally and enable you to do your best work when you return to the office.


Take a 15-20 minute break and do something just for fun. Tapping into an activity you enjoyed as a child (think art, a puzzle, building blocks, or foosball) and letting go of work for a few minutes can re-energize creativity.

Breathe Deeply

Many studies have proven that deep breathing can reduce stress, shift energy and increase productivity. A few minutes of purposeful, deep breathing will relax your mind and help you shift your mental energy.

Listen to Music

Research has now proven music can relieve stress and improve productivity. Temporarily stopping work to listen to music will engage new brain circuits, while allowing overworked circuits the opportunity to rest, giving your brain the chance to unwind and refresh.

Next time you are feeling mentally tired and finding it difficult to summon the mental energy you need, try one of these techniques. Giving your brain a reprieve may be just the thing you need to do your best work.

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