Tech Burnout

The dreaded b-word. In today’s fast-paced world, it can sometimes feel inevitable. But is it really?

Anyone can burn out — it’s not how many hours you work or the number of jobs, but if you are actually enjoying how you spend your day.

Burnout occurs when there is a difference between what you tell yourself you do and what you actually do and if you take it upon yourself to make up the difference or not. It might be a new large task that gets dropped on you that quickly burns you out or just a small repeating task that slowly crushes your spirit.

I’ve collected this post from a selection of books and articles about burnout.

I think everyone should read about burnout, not when it’s happening to you, but before so you know what is ahead and what to look for.

There is no one size, fix all cure that will magically remove burnout from your day.

But there are lots of repeating messages and good advice that will help you not get into burnout or reverse the burnout that you are feeling. Most books tend to have some very cringy parts where the author pushes their own experience and solution onto you. I hope what I have here is not another one.

It’s ok to absolutely hate reading this,
this can still help you.

burnout is a state of mind, body and spirit, reached by those that have come to the end of a particular road but are refusing to acknowledge this

Burnout announces this fact in the strongest possible terms and rather than being fixed or cured, burnout needs to be honored and listened to. In fact, burning out is a sign that we have already begun to know something about ourselves that we are not ready to tell ourselves. Some voice of truth inside us tells us that our old ways are not working and we need to stop, rethink and find a new way forward. We don’t dare to. Yet we cannot afford not to.

burnout is what we do to avoid surrendering

So we try to work harder.

We think if we can just get over this task or project that it will be better.

So we add hours to the start and end of our days to try to get ahead.

You are doing more and more while accomplishing less and less

Tasks start off little, but they become expectations.

It gets harder to focus on just one task.

As you juggle tasks, the context switching start to take up more of your day

Are you unproductive because you are bored,
or are you bored because you are unproductive

If you don’t plan your life,
you will just fall into someone else’s plan.

People in burnout don’t plan ahead, they can’t. Each day is a battle for survival. You are treading water and you are exhausted.

If you are stuck in burnout, today is the best time to start developing a new plan. It should be something small and achievable.

Burnout people are holding onto a picture themself doing what they thought they would be doing – of a reality that isn’t happening

We often hold on to a thing or action believing that everything will fall apart if we don’t do it but those that have completely burnt out then realize that the world keeps going afterward.

Either it gets delegated to others or the company finally realizes that thing they asked you to do is completely insane.

People in burnout often lose their life goals, they are so caught up in the current that the idea of an accident seems more probably or easier than living to old age.

Burnout gives you a choice:
take time now, or take a lot more time later

You don’t have to quit, but it might be the best for you if you do, especially if you are the one placing higher standards

Be careful that you don’t restart the same cycle, it is difficult to say no to things that excite you or can change your future path

openanalytics 2441 views

I'm a 35 year old UIUC Computer Engineer building mobile apps, websites and hardware integrations with an interest in 3D printing, biotechnology and Arduinos.

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