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Especially for programmers, designers, engineers out there. Say you are having a day or two when you are just tired. (Went drinking night before, been working hard for 2+ weeks, or watched that movie you didn't need to watch late into the night and now you're tired, etc).

Now comes morning and time to start crunching on heavy problem solving but the brain just wants to zone out.

Is there, a warm up technique that you can use to get yourself back into the mode?

For me presently, it's like jumping into a pool of cold water, just do it FAST and get it over with. I am wondering, for people who are able to maintain solid focus for weeks on end, if they are accustomed to a ritual that helps. (This is similar to my question: What is a good way to begin your work day?) but different because it's not about motivation, it's more about (in the zone type) of mental focus on problem solving; maintained for days (including low focus days).

I may be wrong and I may be still solving the problem in the area of procrastination or motivation. But I'm currently suspecting just the brain being tired, or.. like an attempt at pushing mental endurance of working longer (weeks) and on some days needing a 'warm-up'.

This is the mind being tired enough to not really care about tasks and deadlines.

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I suggest setting up a morning routine that energizes you. Perhaps a brisk walk, some exercise or a dip in the pool. Exercise has been proven to get your brain going.

My energy levels are usually best in the morning so I do the hardest tasks first then "reward" myself with the things I love to do when my energy flags - usually later in the afternoon.

"Captain Time" Garland Coulson

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What helps me a lot in such days is a good cup of coffee in the kitchen (or any other rest zone) with my colleagues and a good chat. This makes me wake up and fill energized.

The trick is to start the day with some positive emotions which will make you more feel better and not that tired. You won't need to make your brain work _ it will just start working. If you don't have the habit of sitting with your colleagues in the mornings, you could watch some humorous video which would make you smile or even laugh.

Some physical activity can be helpful too. We have a ping-pong room in our office, so I like to play with my colleagues when I'm not able to concentrate on work.

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Doing exercise, meditating, listening to songs, drinking green tea, and having nice chit chat with friends really energises my brain. You can see its positive effect in your productivity.

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Any particular reason for green tea? – Dina Oct 7 '13 at 14:40
yes,The green tea has a kind of amino acid which gives you relaxing effect. – Durai Amuthan.H Oct 8 '13 at 4:19

I'm quite astonished by how people are reluctant to recognize the root of a problem. At first we make problems, and then we are trying to get rid of the consequnces of those problems by not resolving the problems itlself.

Quit drinking and watching movies and that would be it.

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While I agree on the proposed solution, I believe the spirit on the question was to include stuff which you really can't control. Maybe you had a dog barking and could not get to sleep fine? Maybe firefighters arrived next door but you still have your deadline? – Alpha Oct 2 '13 at 21:59
This is not the case. He admitted himself what the problem actually is. – akond Oct 3 '13 at 7:42
Guys, please don't turn this into a lifestyle discussion. I can remove that part if that is confusing. I am really referring to ways of activating your brain for high productivity. I am voting down your answer for being unhelpful and presumptuous. – Dina Oct 7 '13 at 14:35
Dina, if you are serious, you shout try drugs. After drunk and watched movies, you should start taking drugs. This is the most appropirate way to activate you brain after killing it. – Val Aug 10 '14 at 12:06

Having a mentally demanding job myself, I can totally relate to your question. For me, the best way to go is just to give yourself a break. Take a day off and let your brain relax. The next day, in one day you'll accomplish much more than if you'd be working for two days while being tired. And while you're resting, don't load yourself with such distractions as watching TV or playing games. They will not let your mind rest.

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