Understanding How Mental Fatigue Impacts Your Work Performance

We all know this feeling –– especially if you’re a hard worker! Mental fatigue is exactly what it sounds like. It happens when you’ve been using your cognitive abilities for too long. It makes you feel mentally exhausted. It can be described as sending your brain into overdrive. Even if you aren’t physically tired, you may be mentally.


Think about how your body feels when you have been running on too little sleep or when you have been working out really hard. This is how mental fatigue works. Instead of affecting your body, it affects your mental state.


Before you know it, you can’t even computer everyday thoughts!


It’s essential to understand what mental fatigue can do to a person. It can really start to affect your work performance, which you should be aware of (if you haven’t noticed already).


If you’re falling behind at work, maybe you’re mentally fatigued and need to do something about it.  


Mental fatigue can impact your work in these ways:


  • It reduces productivity. If your brain is tired, you won’t be as productive. You will just feel tired and worn down. This will then influence the efficiency of your work and how much you actually get done. Working productively is important, but it can’t be done if you’re so mentally worn out. You may work more slowly or not be able to do your best work because of mental fatigue.


  • It impacts your endurance. You know when you’re working really hard and pushing through the hardest part of your job? That’s endurance. It is a necessary thing to have sometimes. It helps you to keep going, even when it isn’t easy or you feel like stopping. Well, when your brain is tired, it doesn’t have the energy to keep powering through. This leaves you without the endurance that you need in order to get things done.


  • It keeps you from focusing. You probably know that you have to be able to focus in order to work well. Without this focus, you won’t be able to stay on task. If you’re mentally fatigued, you might notice that you get distracted easily. Maybe you can’t seem to stay on-task, even if it’s simple assignments. Your brain is just so tired of focusing that it can’t do it well or at all at some point.


  • It slows down cognitive function. Cognitive function includes everything that your brain does. You use your cognitive function quite a bit when you’re at work and just throughout your day. Cognitive function is one of the main parts that suffers when you are mentally fatigued. Lots of your everyday tasks require cognitive function. It will function slower or less efficiently if your brain isn’t functioning at its best.


  • It will lead to simple mistakes. If you’re experiencing mental fatigue, you will be more likely to make simple mistakes. These mistakes will be on the things that you do every single day or that you could probably do in your sleep. Suddenly, if you’re mentally worn out, you may slip up. This goes back to your focus. When you’re not focused, it’s easier to make those mistakes in your work.


  • It can cause irritability. Now, this will probably affect your co-workers more than it will affect the work you’re doing. If you’re mentally fatigued, you will get snappy or annoyed more often. This can cause issues with teamwork, meetings, and more. As harsh as it may sound, nobody will want to work with you if you’re constantly mentally fatigued and getting snappy.


So, what do we need to do about this?


Just as you should take a break when your muscles are fatigued, you should do the same with your work when you are mentally fatigued. There are lots of different ways to give your mind the rest it needs and every little bit helps.


Take a 10 to 20-minute nap or meditate for a few minutes. You can take short breaks throughout your workday. Getting outside helps because it gives you a break and allows you to get some fresh air.


Getting in the habit of staying organized helps a lot. You will be able to stay on top of things and make sure you aren’t falling behind. When you’re organizing your schedule, make sure you are realistic about what you can accomplish on any given day.


If you think that you may be experiencing mental fatigue and that it’s negatively impacting your work, it’s a good idea to do something about it. Once you are able to manage your mental fatigue, you will be able to work hard again and be your most productive self!


But don’t just stop there and settle with a mediocre performance –– we’re in this together to be the ‘Alpha’ in everything we do, especially our performance!


If you want to MAXIMIZE YOUR PERFORMANCE (in EVERY area), then book a FREE call to learn about how we can help!

Click here and schedule a Free 15-minute Video Consultation.

Dr. James Leonette