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Work fatigue, loss of concentration, etc. How to tackle them?

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colourblind
Work fatigue, loss of concentration, etc. How to tackle them?
on Jun 22, 2005 at 8:03:43 am

The last two months where quite hectic for me. The first HD project, many SD projects, and most of them quite crappy / ordinary. I had to work some nights, plus I had to clean the mess resulting from (but not limited to) delayes in shootings caused by the weather, bad exposures, erroneous info (I had one 24p project and no one informed me by the time of capture that it was 24p so I captured it in 25i... lots of issues)...
So anyway, lately I felt really tired and I noticed a significant loss of concentration. I edit quite mechanically and miss lots of important details. My monitors drive me crazy etc. etc.

How do you guys avoid, tackle things like this, especially when you still have lots of work on you heads? What about office ergonomy, breaks during the day etc. etc.?


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Charlie King
Re: Work fatigue, loss of concentration, etc. How to tackle them?
on Jun 22, 2005 at 3:30:34 pm

There was a thread some time back concerning creative burnout. I think it is time to read that thread. I've been there. I didn't do anything about it at the time, or should I say the times. I let them build over years and I then broke with a total mental creative burnout that lasted close to 3 years. Fina a way to get away. Find a way to relax, take your mind off work. Find that thread and read it, con't wait til it reaches the point mine did.

Charlie


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Pixel Monkey
Re: Work fatigue, loss of concentration, etc. How to tackle them?
on Jun 22, 2005 at 6:15:11 pm

Try and remember why you got into the industry. Rediscover the magic and find a way to pop it as a pill. Then patent it, cuz we'll buy it!

Take naps. Make love often. Vavation in the woods (no pixels).

______
/-o-o-
`(=)`/...Pixel Monkey
`(___)



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Mark Suszko
Re: Work fatigue, loss of concentration, etc. How to tackle them?
on Jun 22, 2005 at 7:27:30 pm

The love of a good woman, playing in the yard with the kids, a long soak in a warm tub with some good tunes. A long bike ride at dusk. Sunset on the local beach. Cherry Garcia.;-)

When I'm really low, I put on the headphones and wail away on my old Yamaha DX7 with the faders all the way up. I'm not very good, but good enough to please myself. An hour or so of noodling blues to pop is quite cathartic. They say "a change is as good as a rest", so go do something, ANYTHING, that's not like what you're doing at work. For me one of those things is flying my RC model airplanes, or sailing my RC sailboat in the local pond. Or go grab a sketch pad and pencil sit outside and draw *something* . Or make a meal you've never cooked before, a dessert you've never tried. The point is to flex creative muscles that are not usually getting flexed.


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Mike Cohen
Re: Work fatigue, loss of concentration, etc. How to tackle them?
on Jun 22, 2005 at 9:30:41 pm

Drink 1-2 liters of water per 8 hour day - keeps the blood flowing - avoid coffee unless you fall asleep more than 3 times while logging tape

exercise 3 times a week at least

sleep in once in a while

develop a language system with your significant other, such as 1-hour = 3 hours, etc

I like lots of light in my office - incandescent, not fluorescent

occasionally do something fun related to your job - such as making an animation or goofy video - try something you could never do in an actual project

drink lots of water - oh I said that already - but do it - may even help you lose weight if that is an issue

also avoid sugary snacks

take a multivitamin and get lots of protein

visit the creative cow site at least once a day

go for a walk after you eat your lunch - even in the rain or snow - you'll dry off

Those are things I do - listen to your body.


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Todd at UCSB
Re: Work fatigue, loss of concentration, etc. How to tackle them?
on Jun 22, 2005 at 11:14:11 pm

This is a quote that I ran across yesterday, courtesy of Mark's post to a web page with thoughtful quotes.

He who has a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how'." - Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

Don't live to work, work to live.

I have 3 smiling reasons waiting for me everytime I walk in the door. You need to get reenergized with your personal life!
ALso, listen to Mike about the water thing, too much coffee and I'm a space case.

Peace,


Todd at UCSB
Television Production


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colourblind
Re: Work fatigue, loss of concentration, etc. How to tackle them?
on Jun 23, 2005 at 9:48:24 am

"He who has a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how'." - Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

Don't live to work, work to live.
"

I totally agree with this. I have my familliy and friends that offer me a fine refuge, it's true, I don't have any kids (or wife for that matter). I think Mark hit the spot closer to what I meant, although all you guys had some valuable feedback. I think my fatigue is *mainly* but not only due to overnight work, idiot clients (but these cannot be avoided) and an overall rushed lifestyle. The water thing is true I believe as I was already told that by many people. I also had the fluorescent lights in my office replaced with incandescend a few months ago.

Work's for machines anyway. :D


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plasma
Re: Work fatigue, loss of concentration, etc. How to tackle them?
on Jun 23, 2005 at 2:58:02 pm

this is where being selective with work can save you from burn out. not most of us can be selective, but we should strive to get to a point in our careers where we can be. and unfortunately if you're getting tired of a project and/or client(s) it will show, and could hurt future possibilites. i always have a saying, if you like what you do, people notice. if you dislike what you do, people notice. take a break. good luck.




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Charlie King
Re: Work fatigue, loss of concentration, etc. How to tackle them?
on Jun 23, 2005 at 4:13:26 pm

[plasma] " i always have a saying, if you like what you do, people notice. if you dislike what you do, people notice. take a break."

Believe me, I was still loving what I did right throough the burnout. Loving what you are doing is no remedy for burnout. Burnout can be caused from loving what you do too much.

Charlie


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colourblind
Re: Work fatigue, loss of concentration, etc. How to tackle them?
on Jun 24, 2005 at 9:31:20 am

"Burnout can be caused from loving what you do too much."

This might turn into a delicious philosophical debate. Anyway, until then, I for one don't think that I experience a *creative* burnout, but just phisical exhaustion that is also taking its toll on the intelectual side. Technically, I still have ideas and can find solutions but with very reduced performance.


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Tim Kolb
Re: Work fatigue, loss of concentration, etc. How to tackle them?
on Jun 25, 2005 at 4:08:40 pm

[colourblind] "
"Burnout can be caused from loving what you do too much."

This might turn into a delicious philosophical debate. Anyway, until then, I for one don't think that I experience a *creative* burnout, but just phisical exhaustion that is also taking its toll on the intelectual side. Technically, I still have ideas and can find solutions but with very reduced performance."



It's interesting that the people I know who are the most successful in my eyes are doing something that they're good at, but they don't "love" it. I do what I love 18 hours a day, and weekends...crazy hours...laptop runs at home on projects, etc.

I find when I've been working around the clock and I build up a sleep deficit that I become useless. Setting a limit seems a necessity.




TimK
Kolb Syverson Communications
Creative Cow Host
2004, 2005 NAB Post Production Conference Premiere Pro Technical Chair
Author, "The Easy Guide to Premiere Pro" http://www.focalpress.com
"Premiere Pro Fast Track DVD Series" http://www.classondemand.net


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Matt Sowder
Re: Work fatigue, loss of concentration, etc. How to tackle them?
on Jun 25, 2005 at 7:34:00 pm

Charlie said to re read the post on creative burnout... There were actually two. Tim Allen has a great article that is probably still posted about trying new things. It was timely the first time I went through that. I was teaching myself photoshop. The second time I was getting my jones on with After Effects. Despite the fact that I can get into AE and be dangerous, didn't stop this second round. I bang out Spots for Auto Dealers for folks who have know idea how to manage a video department and have no interest in listening to someone who does. Constantly doing the same spot with different incentives( PLEASE READ THE DISCLAIMERS ON THESE F'ING SPOTS!!!! ) is a real downer... Yet, I'm slowly coming out of it?

I'm making myself look outside the job. I'm also starting to make contacts to start my freelance editing back up. I have the gear and I am looking to pick up stuff that is of interest to me. Just talking about the creative process to someone else who "gets it" is a major deal. This forum is one of my favorites when I have time to post. I also like the post about drinking water and other healthy pursuits. That has helped. My concentration is better and the grind is better.

Trust me, your description sounds like my daily job. My nerves were/are shot. It's not easy. Give yourself into some change or the insanity will get you and what you love doing will be that again...



Matt Sowder
Fiddler's Ridge Productions


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colourblind
Re: Work fatigue, loss of concentration, etc. How to tackle them?
on Jun 27, 2005 at 1:41:19 pm

"It's interesting that the people I know who are the most successful in my eyes are doing something that they're good at, but they don't "love" it. I do what I love 18 hours a day, and weekends...crazy hours...laptop runs at home on projects, etc"

That was my exact thought. Didn't find the words for it.


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plasma
Re: Work fatigue, loss of concentration, etc. How to tackle them?
on Jun 28, 2005 at 2:54:38 pm

sounds like you could use an assistant. do some management and deligation of tasks. if you're doing that much work, then you could support a staff. it's worth it.



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colourblind
Re: Work fatigue, loss of concentration, etc. How to tackle them?
on Jun 29, 2005 at 11:52:59 am



Yes, I am considering having a second person here but this is also dependent on the perspective of my employer as I do not own the studio. I do not enjoy very much the term "asistant" as I don't see myself as the top notch kind of editor that has "asistants" but rather just a person who needs some backup. Also, I usually like to work on a project alone and let the other persons handle completelly different projects. Each person has his / her own style of work, naming conventions etc. etc. and I think that, as long as the projects are not huge, two persons might sometimes generate more chaos than bringing eficiency to the workflow.


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Will Edit for Food
Re: Work fatigue, loss of concentration, etc. How to tackle them?
on Jul 1, 2005 at 2:37:28 am

Loss of concentration? In Bucharest? Must be all them Romanian chicks! Only reason Walter Murch could concentrate in Romania was cuz he had Nicole to stare at for eight months.

--------
will edit for food
--------


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colourblind
Re: Work fatigue, loss of concentration, etc. How to tackle them?
on Jul 1, 2005 at 1:33:26 pm

"Loss of concentration? In Bucharest? Must be all them Romanian chicks! Only reason Walter Murch could concentrate in Romania was cuz he had Nicole to stare at for eight months.

"

MWuahahahhaa. Too true willworkforfood. Too true. That's a big laugh over here. :D


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tony salgado
Re: Work fatigue, loss of concentration, etc. How to tackle them?
on Jul 5, 2005 at 4:29:24 pm



There is but one true religion to practice to improving your mental and body fatigue.

It is simple and has been with us for hundreds if not millions of years.

Exercise.


A simple dose of exercise with as little as 10 minutes a day will boost your energy levels.'

Try taking a short walk or stretching exercise to flex your body after hours of sitting down at your edit bay.

If you don't feel you have the time then make the time. At lunch make the first 10-15 minutes the exercise routine then go eat your lunch.

No excuses only results.



Tony Salgado


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