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Jan Hills

Head Heart + Brain

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Evidence-based agony aunt: “I get home from work a zombie. What can I do?”

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Our evidence-based agony aunt, Jan Hills, uses findings from neuroscience and psychology to tell you how to solve your organisational problems in brain-savvy ways, that work with the mind's natural tendecies and not against it. Got a problem you want her to look at it? Drop us a line at [email protected]. We'll get back quickly.

Question:

"I get home from work exhausted, and I am a zombie, drained of energy, all evening. What do I do?"

Answer:

I can’t entirely say what is causing this ‘zombie-state.’ You may want to get a check-up with your doctor just to be sure there is nothing from a health perspective that is causing the issue.

But assuming all of that is fine try these ideas

Take more breaks during your working day. Yes I know that is counterintuitive when you are busy but you see the intentional parts of the brain, those parts you use when you are making decisions, solving problems and working on your goals all get tired very quickly, much more quickly than we realise.

Our prefrontal cortex works better when we mix up the activity we are asking it to perform. So periods of intense focus with breaks for mind wandering or reflection work best. Taking a break every hour and mixing what you work on between routine tasks and thinking/creative tasks gives your PFC a break.

Make sure you have a proper break in the evening too so that you wake refreshed.

I know this pattern of work is not typical in most organisations but this is the pattern used by the highest performers and sports people.

If you feel you will have issues convincing people at your work that your breaks are useful, you can provide them with the evidence in the form of this webinar on my website.

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Jan Hills

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