Reaching the Terminal Point and Fatigue

Posted on March 23, 2009 by


This past weekend I had about 4000 items unread on Google Reader.  While usually I do my best to make sure every item is read every day, this past week, I wasn’t in any mood to read too much of off google reader.  So the news items piled to the Tower of Babel.

I can’t tell the exact number I left unread, but I know that every morning at about 6 am after having read through midnight, I can expect up to about 400-500 unread items.   So hence, a week of not really reading anything except choice psychology and anthropology articles made about 4000+ items I left unread.

Imagine my relief when I finally pared that number to 880 items.  But the ultimate goal is to trim that number down to zero items unread, a point where I have skimmed through all the relevant news.

However, somewhere in the middle of this rummage through unread items, probably at about 550 items, I felt something strange as I was approaching the edge of zero.  I felt the urge to take a break.  Do something else, then get on with this shit later.  After all, I was tired…mentally.

Am I processing so much that I get tired?  Physically, everything in my external body was working right.  My eyes weren’t straining (till now), posture was fine.  Mentally, I was genuinely being intrigued by found items on the internetz, but still I found the need to take a break despite being very close to the end.  But being tired mentally doesn’t seem to make too much sense to me.  Why do I even get that urge to take a break?

Being close to the end, perhaps I just remembered how far I had to come to clear the items in google reader, and suddenly the mental fatigue sets in.

I wonder…if I didn’t have any memory of how far I had to go, would I have been better able to read through and complete the task?  If I destroyed my short-term and the parts of memory that know I have traveled far, would I have been able to proceed through the task without having the need for a break?