Do you ever wake up in the morning feeling completely drained and exhausted but not sure why? You just slept for hours and you’re still waking up as if you’ve had no sleep? How about going through your day and by 2:00 you’re completely fried mentally. You have nothing to give, nothing to say, and all you can think about is, “Why am I so tired!”
I think many of us can agree, that especially now, this sounds like us more often than not! How do we put an end to brain fog and increase productivity and why do we feel fuzzy half way through the day?
My friends, welcome to the effects of consumption overload!
According to a number of recent surveys, The average American spends 5.4 hours a day on their phone with 144 minutes per day spent on social media.
According to J. Clement with Statista:
Social media has a wide-reaching and significant impact on not only online activities but also offline behavior and life in general. During a global online user survey in February 2019, a significant share of respondents stated that social media had increased their access to information, ease of communication, and freedom of expression. On the flipside, respondents also felt that social media had worsened their personal privacy, increased a polarization in politics and heightened everyday distractions.
According to the Harvard Business Review,
...the surging volume of available information—and its interruption of people’s work—can adversely affect not only personal well-being but also decision making, innovation, and productivity. In one study, for example, people took an average of nearly 25 minutes to return to a work task after an e-mail interruption. That’s bad news for both individuals and their organizations.
Researchers say that the stress of not being able to process information as fast as it arrives—combined with the personal and social expectation that, say, you will answer every email message—can deplete and demoralize you. Edward Hallowell, a psychiatrist and expert on attention-deficit disorders, argues that the modern workplace induces what he calls “attention deficit trait,” with characteristics similar to those of the genetically based disorder. Author Linda Stone, who coined the term “continuous partial attention” to describe the mental state of today’s knowledge workers, says she’s now noticing—get this—“e-mail apnea”: the unconscious suspension of regular and steady breathing when people tackle their e-mail.
All of this to say, we are heavily impacted by all of the things we consume on a daily basis. The consumption is overwhelming, more than what we need, and often addicting. Here is what I like to call the Fuzzy Four, because with too much consumption that’s exactly what happens; we become fuzzy, drained, and unable to even begin closing our potential gap.
People - Everyone carries a different energy, attitude and beliefs with them and they directly affect how we connect and interact with one another. Consuming energies of other people may not always be a great thing especially if they take away from your energy, put you down, or leave you feeling drained on multiple occasions.
Food and Drinks - What type of food and drinks are you consuming on a daily basis? Overall, is your nutritional lifestyle healthy and energy-boosting or is it filled with foods that are high in chemical content, which affect your levels of energy and physical mobility? Everything we consume in our body will directly affect our mind and physical capabilities.
Social Media - Our society’s over-reliance on our cell phones and the convenient apps they feature is obvious to everyone. I know I’m guilty of waking up in the morning and reaching for my phone first, sometimes even before I acknowledge my loved ones and say good morning to them. But think about it, I bring in thousands of people into my consciousness every morning through social media and the news. And sometimes I’m completely drained by them before the sun has even fully risen because I’ve already brought in a bevy of mundane, pointless information and selfies of random people. Are you getting stuck in the media madness—going mad and losing valuable brain power and energy to stories, pictures, and fake news on social media that rarely contribute to your mental stimulation?
Watch and Hear - Similar to social media, what we see and hear directly affects our mental awareness and productivity. In addition, the type of shows and music we consume also make an impact on our energy and stress levels. For example, in an article from US News and World Report, “The relationship between violent media use and aggression and desensitization to violence is as strong as or stronger than the relationship between smoking and lung cancer,” says David L. Hill, author of Dad to Dad: Parenting Like A Pro. Research shows that early exposure to TV violence also makes it likelier that kids will grow up to be aggressive adults.”
Consumption overload is a real thing and it takes away from the productivity, focus, and energy you will need to close your potential gap and be your best.
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