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Discussion on: Burnout as a Developer: Experience, Symptoms, Prevention and Cure

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keremispirli profile image
keremispirli • Edited

I see "Breakfast", "Exercise" and "Going to sleep" in your daily schedule. You were clearly not working hard enough!
< / irony >

I am in the industry for 15 years now. I had my share of burnouts, too. My 2c:

  1. Force yourself to take breaks often. Uncomfortably often. Use your willpower to stop working; not to continue working.
    Deep diving into a task for a couple of uninterrupted hours feels like you're in the flow and super productive, but trust me on this: Taking breaks does not break your flow; on the contrary, intensifies it. Plus, it induces the "time compression" phenomenon. Look it up.
    I have been using Pomodoro (25min work + 5min forced break) since I discovered this, and it was the best thing ever, until I experienced Mob Programming and had only 4 minutes to type or talk!
    Anyway. Force yourself to take frequent breaks. Thank me later.

  2. Force yourself to stop working at the end of your work day. For me it's 17:30.
    It doesn't matter if you started late today.
    It doesn't matter if you were not productive today.
    It doesn't matter if today was all meetings and discussions and you couldn't code as much as you wanted.
    It doesn't matter if you're in the flow and just gotta finish this thing in 10 seconds. (Tomorrow you'll need another hour of work for refactoring that crap anyway.)
    It even doesn't matter if you still have to commit+push. (You should have done it earlier. A whole night full with the fear of your disk dying along with today's work shall teach you this lesson.)
    Once the work time is up, drop that keyboard. No excuses.

  3. Burnout is not limited to your work life. If you're going through difficulties in other areas of your life, you'll be significantly more vulnerable to burnout.
    Avoid taking on big responsibilities if you're in such a situation. And GET HELP. NOW. Don't wait until burnout; it's takes MONTHS to YEARS to fully recover if you allow it to happen.
    On the flip side, if you're supported by your life outside your work then you'll be stronger and more resilient then you'd imagine.
    Wanna succeed at work? Wanna impress your colleagues and superiors? Wanna be that beast who delivers the MVP for that startup single-handedly in record time? Then have at least one hobby that you do better than average. Socialize regularly. Get physically and mentally fit. Participate in collaborative efforts for things that have nothing to do with software, even take days off for them because you want to achieve stuff with those people in your social circles.
    Now, you will surely have to put all of these on hold for delivering that MVP, but you'll do it with the condition of running back to them right after the deadline AND you'll make it crystal clear that you making these sacrifices is exceptional and should not be considered as the norm.

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nirbhayvashisht profile image
Nirbhay Vashisht Author

Wow! Thank you very much for sharing your experience. I will surely try your methods (which looks very promising btw). I'll update you very soon.
Thanks again.

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