Feeling Scattered at Work

Mike Tyson's picture
Rank: Monkey | banana points 63

I am an Analyst at a MM boutique. Lately I've been really scattered at work - my brain has not been functioning as quickly as it used to and I am always tired.

This has been apparent since I worked for about 36 hours straight a month ago, and I don't think I have recovered since despite taking a few weekends off and having a slightly lower workload.

Anyone get the same feeling that their brain is just in space? How did you deal with it?

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Comments (38)

Sep 6, 2018

Maybe you are experiencing the early stages of burnout?

If you feel scatter brained and find it hard to focus, I would try to take copious notes by hand about everything you are involved in as well. Just force yourself to do it. It'll improve memory retention and keep you focused.

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Sep 7, 2018
Mike Tyson:

I am an Analyst at a MM boutique. Lately I've been really scattered at work - my brain has not been functioning as quickly as it used to and I am always tired.

This has been apparent since I worked for about 36 hours straight a month ago, and I don't think I have recovered since despite taking a few weekends off and having a slightly lower workload.

Anyone get the same feeling that their brain is just in space? How did you deal with it?

You're going to have to find better ways of working 24hrs+ straight. You need the deep breathing exercises in your cube/space every now and then with the quick naps and REM sleep when possible.

Hydrate always. If you want to use stimulants, use them in an orderly fashion. If you're going to crash, find a window to crash and then eat a bowl of fruit or something and pass out. Always make sure you're eating whole foods and maintain vitamin C levels. Massive amounts of green tea is sustainable. Get in some pushups if necessary and if you're really struggling, go to the bathroom and wet the back of your neck, splash some water on your face, clean up, shave if necessary, straighten out that tie, and grab a cup of coffee with some cacao and cinammon.

Also, avoid heavy foods this whole time. If you're going to eat meat, get a salmon or tuna salad. Lots of green leafy vegetables. Berries are a must. Eat a lot of small meals throughout your time working and remember that you need an extra 2-3 meals when you don't usually eat as you are awake. Plan for that somehow. If you can't leave the desk at all, get Vega all in one mix or something and just mix that with water. You could cold brew green tea at your desk as well. Just throw some packs in a bottle of water, let the antioxidants sink in. You could add a little honey even as well or buy some lemon juice according to your needs.

La Croix is nice as well. Crush a case or two of that stuff.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Sep 7, 2018

It's investment banking, not Navy Seals hell week.

Holocaust prisoners didn't even work 36 hours straight. If you're willing to work that long as an analyst, meaning you don't even get any significant upside out of it, you're brainless.

Besides, working 24+ hours is completely inefficient.

Stand up for yourself or get a new job honestly...

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Sep 7, 2018

Douche canoe.

Sep 14, 2018
WChurchill:

It's investment banking, not Navy Seals hell week.

Besides, working 24+ hours is completely inefficient.

Stand up for yourself or get a new job honestly...

I'm not sure what kind of workload you have had in the past 5-15 years or so, but I've had 10 projects at once and every couple years, on 3-4 projects, shit would hit the fan unexpectedly, simultaneously (like the perfect storm) and there is not enough time to teach someone to delegate the work and you have to figure out a way to communicate to everyone and finish everything in time. That's in a regimented corporate structure. I wasn't even in the office, I'm taking hour naps and getting up, fending emails, fixing ad hoc financial models that are 'quick and dirty' with sloppy checkers in there cause .. no time ... to submit the best we can possibly do, and so on...

If you're talking entrepreneurship, you're gonna have 24hr days every now and then, no doubt, especially starting out, so get used to it and get used to working well in high stress/pressure/time condensed environments. You might get an hour or two nap in, but you'll feel what its like wearing all the hats and the need to go the extra mile for your brand, for your name. Sometimes business/finance happens fast and its not perfect, but its messy and you want to be sure when you submit your models, but also you have 5 other things you need to do, so have to get it done quick, clean, accurate, and fast.

"Slow is smooth and smooth is fast."

Do you work in HR or are you in recruiting or something? Has it been pretty low key for you the past 10 years or so - they don't work you hard?

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Sep 15, 2018

Get out of here with your macho brainless bullshit. If you're working 36 hours as an ANALYST (= NOT an entrepreneur, completely different upside potential) meaning you're essentially working for your MDs bonus then you're dumb as rocks.

If you are working that long, your boss is shit at his job. He is either not hiring enough people, not running his business efficiently, or he just literally does not give a fuck about you. Either way, you don't want to work for him.

Crazy how someone that works as hard as you has time to post 10 page long comments on this forum including mirror selfies.

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Sep 15, 2018
WChurchill:

Crazy how someone that works as hard as you has time to post 10 page long comments on this forum including mirror selfies.

I'm 35 bro, not 23. I did all that stuff when I started out. If you don't aim to be top 5% or 10% of your group, just quit and go bag groceries at Wal-Mart; mediocre was never part of any microbe of my plan.

You're going to have long days. Get used to it. To whoever said it on this thread, yeah, this isn't the fucking Navy SEALs, this is about keeping the mind focused, not the whole body behind enemy lines. There is a difference. Splashing water on your face and doing pushups are some vanilla shit. If you think thats hardcore, I suggest you get out a bit more.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Funniest
Sep 15, 2018

Also, I'm legitimately spending my own time to write on here and help people...

so ...

fuck you ...

(and here's another shirtless pic as you requested - from central park) ... :P

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Sep 15, 2018

you want to be helpful? tell me how to end up in between two hot bikini-clad babes (please)

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Sep 20, 2018
bob789:

you want to be helpful? tell me how to end up in between two hot bikini-clad babes (please)

I approached the girl on my right. 20 minutes later they were feeding me on their blanket. I'm still good friends with them both. One is actually kind of a Yogi in NYC now.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Sep 16, 2018
WChurchill:

Get out of here with your macho brainless bullshit.

It's funny because most of the tips I posted were to help and promote optimal brain function. Maybe if you paid attention a little more, you could see that.

How long have you been working out of college anyway?

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Sep 7, 2018
Isaiah_53_5]
[quote=Mike Tyson:

La Croix is nice as well. Crush a case or two of that stuff.

I thought this was a MEME drink. Can you elaborate on how this La Croix helps?

Sep 7, 2018

Boosts your rankings on the career ladder. MD's have left oceans of La Croix empties in their wake.

Sep 7, 2018

MEME DRINKKK

Sep 14, 2018
ResearchLackey19]
[quote=Isaiah_53_5:
Mike Tyson:

La Croix is nice as well. Crush a case or two of that stuff.

I thought this was a MEME drink. Can you elaborate on how this La Croix helps?

If you're going for 24hrs, you're likely burning 2x+ normal calories and likely need 2x+ normal hydration levels for your body to keep up. Hydration should be number one on heavy days. You should be pissing clear and if you start pissing yellow or yellow brown you're fucked up and need to drink a few liters of flat water quick or light honey green tea or something and get back on it.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Sep 7, 2018

You can literally die from working 36 hours straight w/o sleep. I would find a new job immediately if this is the expectation for junior personnel.

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Sep 7, 2018

You might just have a really bad sleep deficit. On your next weekend off, try just doing nothing else other than getting some sleep.

This has happened to me before where I worked some crazy shifts and then went back to sleeping 7 hours a night. However, even then, I didn't fully recover from the sleep lost almost a week later. After a night or two of 10 or 11 hours of sleep, I was back to normal.

Sep 7, 2018

Why did you work for 36 straight hours?! Was it actually no shit working or the chilling at your desk checking news updates on your phone working? In either case, there's no situation where you should be in the office for 36 hours.

Personally, I go through peaks and valleys of motivation towards work. It sounds cheesy and dumb but getting out of the valleys is as easy as hyping yourself up. I'll build up the importance of some shitty report and convince myself that I need to put forth maximum effort towards it. Another cheesy tip, I'll make sure my work clothes are on point - shine the shoes, press the pants and shirts, get a haircut, etc - there's something about looking good equating to feeling good.

Sep 7, 2018

When ppl say they are working 24 or more hours straight here, it's purely bs as majority of that time isn't even considered "working".

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Sep 7, 2018

That's fair. But any time that I'm in the office/at my desk and don't want to be, that's working to me.

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Sep 7, 2018

And if anyone is staying in the office for 36 hours straight... Well, you either need a new job or you are terribly inefficient.

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Sep 7, 2018

Or you are being staffed at an unsustainable level by people who are either ignorant of, or indifferent to your plight? Or your group is having a gangbusters quarter and there isn't time for a 3 month hiring process to run before closing? Or someone on the team drops out unexpectedly and someone needs to rise to the challenge rather than telling the client "were pushing back your deadline"?

I hate this line about efficiency. The only people who ever said it to me at the office were those who were bullshitting themselves about how hard they were working relative to the other members of their team, and rationalizing why it was OK for them to leave the office when they felt like it.

You don't have to be a hardo to recognize that sometimes you will work that hard and it just comes with the territory of certain parts of this industry.

Like I get it, if you don't want to be the hardest worker, don't be. But fact of the matter is that most of the time, those getting inundated with work are the best at it, and the most efficient - that's why they're desired on a staffing.

Sep 7, 2018
Fugue:

Or you are being staffed at an unsustainable level by people who are either ignorant of, or indifferent to your plight? Or your group is having a gangbusters quarter and there isn't time for a 3 month hiring process to run before closing? Or someone on the team drops out unexpectedly and someone needs to rise to the challenge rather than telling the client "were pushing back your deadline"?

I hate this line about efficiency. The only people who ever said it to me at the office were those who were bullshitting themselves about how hard they were working relative to the other members of their team, and rationalizing why it was OK for them to leave the office when they felt like it.

You don't have to be a hardo to recognize that sometimes you will work that hard and it just comes with the territory of certain parts of this industry.

Like I get it, if you don't want to be the hardest worker, don't be. But fact of the matter is that most of the time, those getting inundated with work are the best at it, and the most efficient - that's why they're desired on a staffing.

Lol, what you said sounds great, but unfortunately isn't the case more often than not.

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Sep 7, 2018

pretty sure this isnt legal in the states. document it via email and tell your superiors you need off. you are having vision/migrane issues and must take off. if they chop you after that, you realize they are scumbags and have it documented.

Sep 7, 2018

The reason we need sleep is because the brain does not have an efficient chemical waste disposal mechanism...and so all the waste from cellular activity accumulates during waking hours, and is flushed out when we sleep (read about it at the guardian). A buildup of this cellular chemical waste in the brain is why people can die from lack of sleep. Since most people can't sleep for 24 hours straight...i would suggest this weekend sleeping for 10 hours...getting up and exercising for a few hours, and then taking a 3-4 hour nap....wakeup and goto sleep early sat night...and repeat on sunday. This will maximize your sleeping hours over the weekend and help flush out the waste that has accumulated in your brain.

Also, suggest you over-hydrate with lemon water (just add a few slices of fresh lemon to a glass of water) during this time....which will aid in the brain waste disposal process.

just google it...you're welcome

Sep 7, 2018

get a run in, hydrate with water + electrolytes, eat real/light foods

Sep 7, 2018

I felt the same. I quit.

Now I'm on the buyside (equities).

In my opinion, life is too short to be working in M&A. It consumes your life.

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Sep 15, 2018

Mind sharing what hours do Associates do in BB M&A? Also what about Leveraged Finance? Thanks

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Sep 7, 2018

Did you actually rest? I mean three days off and 6-8 hours sleep a day. In any case, if these 36 hours awake were prescription/drug fueled, then you might have overdone it/took too much than necessary and temporarily fried your body's ability to properly produce/regulate the right chemicals and hormones. Go to a doctor to get yourself checked out and you will likely have some panels done.

I don't even know if you used Adderall or w/e, but I just want to put a notice out there to let other monkies know that these types of drugs are to be respected and if abused for too long can have permanent effects on your brain and other organs no different than what meth produces. Go look up meth face in Google images if you want to ruin your afternoon.

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Sep 7, 2018

I'm kind of surprised by everyone freaking out about your one all-nighter. Regardless, hopefully you have a weekend coming up where you can take a day to fully unplug and recharge. No laptop, no emails, etc. Get some exercise in. Eat breakfast daily.

To combat the scatteredness at work - get excited about the project your working on. You can become a drone coming in daily without any thought or effort devoted to your work, which is also a funny but accurate description of the back office. Try to think about how your work is actually driving the project forward (it is), and find a topic / process that you can "own" and be the guy on. That importance will help with motivation and keep you focused.

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Sep 7, 2018

Also very surprised. Times like these I wonder how many of these people really work at the top of the game.

Sep 7, 2018

It's Mike Tyson, he's fine.

Cultivating mass and wealth since '95

Sep 7, 2018

I was staffed on two transactions at the same time (both live) with really similar timelines.

Had two massive deliverables due on the same day and was the only analyst on both.

So came in the office at 9am, worked until late and then slept for an hour and a half at around 5am, had a shower and then went back to work to about 9pm the next day.

I thought that was all "part of the job", but i guess not. Thanks all for your comments. I'm 100% making sure it doesn't happen again.

Sep 9, 2018

Recovery sleep is also important.
If you don't get a lot of sleep you need toake it count.
I recommend you use blackout curtains or eye mask and make sure you don't look at a phone or PC am hour before bed.
Hydrate moderately before sleep

Hydrate or eat

Sep 9, 2018

This is the finance equivalent of hazing. Hard to tell what kind of mistakes you will make doing stuff like this. I would assume much higher than usual.

Sep 9, 2018

People are weighing in with helpful tips on managing your body during any other similar slog you face in the future, so I'll take a different tack and offer insight on how to avoid a situation you now know isn't normal or necessary.

Mike Tyson:

I was staffed on two transactions at the same time (both live) with really similar timelines.

Had two massive deliverables due on the same day and was the only analyst on both.

So came in the office at 9am, worked until late and then slept for an hour and a half at around 5am, had a shower and then went back to work to about 9pm the next day.

I thought that was all "part of the job", but i guess not. Thanks all for your comments. I'm 100% making sure it doesn't happen again.

The next time you face this situation, email your staffer and cc the VPs for both deals. Say that you're on two live deals and facing major deliverables due the same day. You budget X hours for Deal A and Y hours for Deal B, it's now 11:30am, and you'd appreciate guidance on how to proceed. Like magic, a solution will appear.

Alternatively, if you're in a group with a shittier (read: political) culture, omit cc'ing the VPs on the email.

This is above your paygrade and the reason your staffer exists. There are no merit badges in this industry. You don't get any extra kudos for suffering in silence. It's actually the opposite; raising your hand to mention the duress is looked upon very favorably ... you'll get feedback like "proactive to manage himself, strong communicator, positive indicators of leadership".

This was one of my biggest mistakes at that career stage. I learned from it when I irreparably soured a relationship with my internal sponsor (a VP who was my champion in the group) when he was forced to call me at 10:00 one night to ask why his deliverable wasn't done and end up having to pull another analyst who'd already left the office for a dinner to help.

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Sep 15, 2018
Sep 15, 2018