What Are Signs of Cognitive Load? - Tiger Medical Institute

What Are Signs of Cognitive Load?

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“Overloading attention shrinks mental control. Life immersed in digital distractions creates a near constant cognitive overload. And that overload wears out self-control.” ~ Daniel Goleman

Side Effects of Cognitive Overload

Cognitive load can come in a variety of ways.

Throughout life, it is easy to become distracted and overindulged. We can easily get enthralled with entertainment, leading us to neglect our responsibilities and duties. As this occurs, cognitive load begins to build.

When we don’t learn the art of saying “no”, we automatically say “yes”. This “yes” can be toward something else, and that something else is “something”.

The more things we have on our mind and our plate, the greater the cognitive load. The greater the cognitive load, the more reduction there is in our work, energy, happiness, and performance.

Over time, cognitive load decreases our joy throughout life.

We will discuss five signs of cognitive overload and how it can be resolved. They are as follows:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Forgetful
  3. Neglectful
  4. Difficulty Concentrating
  5. Mental Paralysis

5 Signs of Cognitive Overload

1. Anxiety

Proverbs 12:25 (ESV) says, “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”

When we are anxious, we tend to feel weighed down in spirit.

Though anxiety can come in many forms and result from many things, it can come from having too much going on in our minds.

Anxiety can sometimes come by way of having too much to do, too little time to do what is expected, overcommitting, or disrupting our routine (due to additional tasks and responsibilities being placed on us that we were not expecting).

Whatever the reason, anxiety can be a sign of cognitive load.

2. Forgetful

If you struggle to remember things on a daily basis, it could be due to having too much to remember.

Take time to jot down everything on a piece of paper.

No, seriously, do it.

You don’t need a notebook. You don’t need to organize your thoughts or have a writing routine. You don’t even have to make it look neat or nice!

Just get out all of your thoughts onto a piece of paper. Doing so will relieve your brain from remembering many things that can easily be recorded and put on a piece of paper.

3. Neglectful

If you neglect your work, it could be due to feeling overwhelmed.

When cognitive load increases, overwhelm increases. The pressures and demands of everyday life can make us feel inadequate and unable to accomplish the mountain of responsibilities that lay before us.

I if you are continually being neglectful with work or procrastinating, this could be due to cognitive overload — not knowing where to begin.

What can help eliminate this is day scripting and time blocking. For more information on how to do so, see our article How to Use Time Blocking for Productivity.

4. Difficulty Concentrating

When cognitive load is high, we can have extreme trouble concentrating.

If it is difficult for us to focus on one thing for an extended period time, this could be due to our mind trying to keep track and remember everything that needs to get done.

Monitor if you are keeping track of conversations and having a difficult time concentrating on little tasks and aspects of everyday life. If this is the case, it could be due to cognitive overload.

5. Mental Paralysis

Many times we attempt to remember everything that is expected of us — projects, tasks, individual goals, bills, family needs, keeping in touch with friends and family, and the like.

When all of this comes swarming in and continues to pile up, it can become daunting. As this increases, we can reach a point when we feel paralyzed and unable to complete, think, or do what is expected of us.

To know how to combat and decrease cognitive load, see our article How Can I Improve My Cognitive Health?

Next Steps to Reducing Cognitive Load

You have what it takes inside you to make a definite choice that will change the future trajectory of your health.

Our team at Tiger Medical has the experience, clinical skills, and coaching acumen to help you get your focus and concentration back.

To talk to one of our professionals, click here to schedule your call!

For further reading, view the following articles on our learning center:

Lance VanTine

Lance VanTine

Client Success Manager

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