man stressed with work

Work Fatigue: Why You are Physically and Mentally Tired

Work can be exhausting. While you may be seated at your desk for up to eight hours every day, you can still feel tired by the end of the week. It does not matter if your job is not physically demanding. Work can wear you out physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Workplace Fatigue: It is Real

Fatigue at the workplace is characterized by low levels of energy as well as a lack of motivation. You would know that you are tired because you find it more challenging to concentrate on the task at hand. You also fail to stay organized.

In addition, when work-related fatigue lasts for several days or even weeks, you will suffer other adverse effects such as anxiety and depression. Eventually, you may also experience a condition called burnout.

Burnout is not an official medical diagnosis. However, more experts recognize it as a real condition that affects a lot of people. It creates negative feelings such as loss of personal identity and a reduced sense of accomplishment.

Not a lot of studies have been performed to investigate work-related fatigue. As a result, much of the phenomenon is still a mystery, even to experts. However, few theories attempt to explain physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion at the workplace.

Your Energy Levels Are Depleted

man stressed at work

One hypothesis purports that, throughout the day, people have a limited storage of mental energy. Once that is depleted, it no longer can be filled up or restored.

This is called ego depletion. The theory states that when people have used their available willpower in one task, they will not exert the same amount of concentration, self-control, and energy into another unrelated task.

Willpower is, like a muscle,  can also experience fatigue. For example, in a marathon, if you run your fastest at the beginning, you are unlikely to finish the race. The same may be happening to your willpower. Once you have used all of it up before the end of the day, you will not have enough to finish your to-do list.

However, the existence of ego depletion is still being contested. If it did, some previous reviews have suggested that its influence is not as powerful as initially believed.

You Have Run Out of Motivation

A second hypothesis centers on motivation and how, like willpower, it runs out eventually. It suggests that, as people work on a certain task, they start to lose focus and eventually become uninterested. As a result, they become less motivated to finish the task. They look for other activities that they deem are more enjoyable, such as scrolling social media or online shopping.

One previous study has found compelling evidence that motivation works like gas in a car: it can run out when used.

The study involved 100 nurses from the United Kingdom, all of whom worked a 12-hour shift. The participants were asked to report levels of fatigue at regular intervals. They were also made to wear devices that track their activities.

The researchers found that there is no correlation between physical labor and fatigue.

What You Can Do


Fatigue-related to work can become a source of stress because it prevents people from achieving their professional goals daily or long-term. However, there is a way to counter it.

First, you have to ensure that your body and mind are ready for a full day of work. Get ample sleep every night — at least seven hours, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Moreover, stay hydrated and eat a balanced diet. Nutrition plays an important role in the proper functioning of both your body and mind.

You have the option to get IV therapy, which will boost your energy and alleviate brain fog by giving you the vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes that will improve your overall well-being.

Second, you have to understand how you work. A person goes through highs and lows throughout the day, which is dictated by your Circadian rhythm. Once you go against it, you will become frustrated and unable to complete your tasks.

Observe yourself at work, and identify which times of the day you feel the most and least productive. Then, create a schedule around it.

Work is, of course, important. It is what gives people the funds to access necessities. However, often, it is also a source of stress and fatigue. You can do things to reduce work-related exhaustion, and it involves taking care of your physical and mental well-being.

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