Do normals get cognitive fatigue? Yes, everyone does. In fact, “normals” probably get it more than someone like you shutterbug because they don’t have that ability to hyperfocus for hours or days at a time.
Myself, I get it after reading 2 or 3 comments on here, or one really long one. I literally fall asleep reading all the time. But then as soon as I stop reading and get up to go do something else, I feel fine. This happens all the time when I go to get ready for bed. I’ll be reading a book, or playing a game, or whatever, and I can’t keep my eyes open so I decide to go to bed. But by the time I have changed into my pjs, brushed my teeth (maybe, if I remember) and put away the leftovers from dinner that I forgot to put away earlier, I’m wide awake again.
Breaks work, as long as they are breaks. My problem is I never actually take a break. I can’t just sit down and rest or eat without reading a book or doing a crossword or watching TV or something. Then I just feel more tired and I don’t want to go back to whatever I was doing. Exercise, like a brisk walk, is okay because it doesn’t involve thinking, or at least uses a different part of the brain.
I know what you mean by not wanting to be interrupted by breaks and risk getting distracted and not getting back to work. Happens to me every day. I would suggest just making sure you pause once in awhile and stand up and stretch, or jump up and down a few times, any kind of movement. (I will sometimes just shake my head and slap/rub my cheeks a few times, to help me “wake up”.) Or you could take a few seconds to close your eyes and breathe deeply and let your brain rest. Another one of my favourite techniques is rebooting, commonly referred to as “spacing out” by the “normal people”. Just sipping a cup of hot tea while staring off into space for a couple of minutes can do wonders. You might actually find it makes you more productive.
A blast of cold air can help too. Sometimes the smell or taste of citrus or mint is good…
And I am having trouble keeping my eyes open right now. Time to go nite nite.