Mental fatigue

Should you avoid mentally challenging hobbies if you have a mentally challenging job?  There is a concept known as decision fatigue, that human brains really only have the capacity to make so many decisions in the course of a day.  That’s why so many people in thinking-intensive jobs try to minimize other decisions during their day (famous example would be Steve Jobs always wearing black turtlenecks, not having to pick a wardrobe is one less thing to think about).

Personally, when I get home from work I’m pretty mentally fried.  I love learning, but I realize my mental capacity is only so much, anything else I learn pushes something else out of my head.  So, given that combined with decision fatigue, if I’m trying to sustain peak performance in my job, should I avoid any sort of mentally challenging or stimulating hobbies?

I don’t know.  One of the activities that has the lowest levels of associated brain activity is watching TV.  That’s usually presented as a bad thing, but maybe it shouldn’t be.  I’ve always had fairly mentally active hobbies, but lately I’ve just been watching stuff on youtube (basically like watching TV), which seems to be all I’m mentally up for after work.  Maybe there’s a reason for that, my mind just needs a chance to rest.

 

~Dmitri

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