How to Fight Tiredness and Boredom while Studying or Working

Man studying at a library.
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Dealing with tiredness and boredom requires a purposeful effort to refocus, re-energize and get back on task when you're studying or working. Quick breaks, healthy habits, a change of pace and a positive attitude will help you fight the study or work blues. Combat tiredness by engaging in refreshing activities, and address boredom by changing your routine. Consider the benefits you'll receive from your hard work.

1 Take Frequent Breaks

Take brief, consistent study or work breaks. Some students find that studying for 50 minutes and then taking a 10-minute break helps them combat fatigue and boredom, according to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Go for a short walk, eat a healthy snack, listen to your favorite song, do jumping jacks, watch a funny online video or socialize with your friends. At work, you might take a bathroom break, grab a fresh cup of coffee, text a friend or play a quick computerized game on your phone. Make sure you follow your employer's guidelines for taking breaks.

2 Balance Productivity with Rest

Find your most productive time to study, so you're less likely to wear out. For many students, one hour of daytime study equals 1 1/2 hours of nighttime study because their concentration levels are higher during the day, suggests Walter Pauk, Cornell University's reading and study center director and the author of "How to Study in College." As an employee, you might not be able to choose your work hours, but you can strategize ways to effectively accomplish your workload. Perform deep-thinking tasks during the morning and save busywork for the afternoon or evening. Get a minimum of seven to eight hours of sleep a night, recommends Mayo Clinic. Avoid daytime naps because your concentration level dips before and after naps, says Pauk.

3 Focus on the Rewards of Your Labor

Manage boredom by focusing on the benefits. You might not think calculus problems or business reports are terribly interesting, but your dedication will pay off. Consider how good you'll feel when you ace your exam or complete your work duties ahead of schedule. Come up with tangible rewards to enjoy after completing your school or work responsibilities, such as going to the movies, eating out with friends or co-workers, playing video games, going shopping or relaxing at home. The subject of your studies or your work content might not be all that engaging, but you can fight boredom by focusing on the mental and physical rewards of your hard work.

4 Avoid Procrastinating

Don't procrastinate, even if you think you'll be able to catch up. Waiting until the last minute to study for tests or meet work deadlines can lead to exhaustion, frustration and anxiety. Fight tiredness and boredom by studying one hour a day -- every day -- or by pacing your duties at work, suggests Michael Greenberg, educator and author of "Painless Study Techniques." Divide your work into manageable daily tasks and keep records of what you accomplished each day. That way, you won't have to work overtime or pull all-nighters studying for exams.

As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.