Fatigue

One of the chief causes of fatigue is boredom.
I know a bit unintuitive but it actually is true. Studies have been done that show that the brain as a muscle cannot fatigue on its own. However, hormones have been found in the blood that are common with fatigue in cases when the subjects were not interested and were bored with the tasks at hand.

One doctor in the US put a group of students through a series of tests that he knew the students won’t find interesting. As a result the students felt tired and sleepy. They suffered from headaches and eye strain, became irritable and some had stomach problems.

During the study those students had metabolism tests done. These tests showed that the blood pressure and the amount of oxygen in the body have actually decreased due to boredom. Metabolism immediately picks up as soon as the person starts to feel interested and excited about his work.

For example, have you ever come back home from work utterly tired, with no energy. Then someone calls you to go to a party or you have a dance class. As soon as you start thinking about those you get excited, prepare and suddenly all the exhaustion and lack of energy disappears. The reason? You were bored – bored of your work, maybe bored from your daily routines.

Your emotional attitude usually has much more to do with fatigue than your physical exertion.

It’s not the work you do but the one you don’t

If you are a mental worker it is seldom the amount of work you do that gets you tired. It is the work you don’t do that does. For example, think of that day in the office where you were constantly interrupted, emails were unanswered, troubles throughout the whole day. Everything went wrong and you accomplished nothing. At the end of the day you were completely exhausted and with a headache. I have definitely experienced that not once. However, on other days, when you accomplished everything you set out to do and more, probably 10 times more than the previous day but you went home happy and fresh after 8 hours of work.

These examples are common and they show us that fatigue is often caused not by work but by worry, frustration and resentment, i.e. by our emotional state. This is why people that love what they do seem healthier even if their job is a physically demanding one with low pay. That is because they have more energy, more happiness, less worry, less fatigue and better health due to the emotional state of enjoying what they do.

Where your interests are, there is your energy also.
– Dale Carnegie

Make it interesting

If you have a boring job, one way to deal with it is to make it interesting for yourself.

My grandfather was once asked to weld an iron cross on the gate of the local church. He later told me as we were discussing the case that he never just goes to do something, but always tries to find an interesting way to accomplish it, to have a personal challenge or something that will make him happy as he completes the task. In this case, if he had welded the cross facing the street while the gates was closed, as soon as the gate was opened the cross will be sideways and wouldn’t be facing the street anymore. So he devised a mechanism that was attached to the hinges of the gate in such a way that the cross rotates as the gate is opened or closed and always faces the street. Simple task, he could have just welded the cross and forget about the whole thing, but instead he made it interesting for himself, something he would be proud of discussing later on.

Summary

As unintuitive as it seems fatigue is caused by boredom and the overall emotional state we are in. If we can control our emotional state we can go on days without needing a lot food or even sleep (as I have tested myself). This happens when we do something that we are interested in or that is challenging in an exciting way.

If you find your job boring try to look at it in a different perspective. Don’t focus on the job in a broad perspective, but address every day, every task on its own and try to make it fun or exciting.

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