Have you ever felt stopping in the middle of the workday and just stand up and leave? Every felt snapping at your co-worker or boss because of the mountain of workload given to you? Well, you’re not alone. 

One of the good things about being a software developer is to create something new and hopefully productive every day. On any given day, I’d like to give it my best to commit the best of codes possible. 

Motivational videos and such say to never stop, take breaks only when you’re successful and more of non-stop work until you’re where you want to be. At some point, you have to know when to stop, pause and take a break. 

There were days when while coding, my eyes blink uncontrollably. I don’t have to guess that my eyes are tired, I know it already because most of those days, I stare at my laptop hours and hours coding but mostly debugging and cursing the code gods why my project is not working the way it should.

Denzel Washington said in his speech:

“Don’t confuse movement with progress”. 

Productivity is not based on how many hours of work you’ve done but it is mostly based on the results. Developer A can say he’s “working” for 8 to 10 hours but if those hours do not lead to producing the same result a Developer B can then he’s not productive at all.

You might wanna watch the whole clip

Sometimes giving our body and mind a rest is best because our work produces a better quality over extended working hours and eventually tiring ourselves which then lead to “that should be good enough for now” attitude.It does not matter how much dedication we have in developing projects. Eventually, at some point, our body will tire out. 

Just like a phone battery. Once it’s gone to low, some phones will automatically set it to power saving in order to save energy as much as possible until we charge it up again. If you continue to work on a power saving mode and normally in a corporate work more work gets assigned to you, you get stressed and pressured until your body can’t handle it anymore leading to the feeling of being burnout.

Here are 5 tips on how to prevent it to happen to you or at least prolong it from happening:

Which Kind Of Burnout Do You Have?

For every kind of burnout, there’s a different solution or approach. The Association For Psychological Science made an article how Burnout comes in three varieties:

“Overall, the results indicated that overload burnout — the frenetic employee who works toward success until exhaustion — is most closely related to emotional venting. These individuals might try to cope with their stress by complaining about the organizational hierarchy at work, feeling as though it imposes limits on their goals and ambitions. That coping strategy, unsurprisingly, seems to lead to a stress overload and a tendency to throw in the towel.”

“Burnout that stems from boredom and lack of personal development, on the other hand, is most closely associated with an avoidance coping strategy. These under-challenged workers tend to manage stress by distancing themselves from work, a strategy that leads to depersonalization and cynicism — a harbinger for burning out and packing up shop.”

“The final type of burnout — the worn-out subtype — seems to stem from a coping strategy based on giving up in the face of stress. Even though these individuals want to achieve a certain goal, they lack the motivation to plow through barriers to get to it.”

Take A Nap

I don’t always do it myself but whenever I feel burnt out or needing a rest. I take a 10 to 20-minute nap. According to Sleep.org

“The key to waking up refreshed from a nap is all about timing. Just 20 minutes is all you need to get the benefits of napping, such as improved alertness, enhanced performance, and a better mood. Naps of that length keep you in the lightest stage of non-REM sleep, making it easier for you to get up and go after your snooze session. Be sure to set an alarm so you don’t snooze for too long and wake up all groggy.” 

Work Out

Release those stress on a punching bag, run on a treadmill or just go for a run outside. You are not allowed to punch your boss, right? Well, you could but then what happens next is what you don’t want so instead, hit the gym or go for a run. 

Make Time For You

Put on your calendar for some me-time in which you think of everything but work. It could be after work or on weekends in all you do is pamper yourself. Been wanting to binge watch and catch up on your shows?  Go get a message which will relax both your body and mind.  

Take A Long (not too long) Time Off

If it’s really too much, take a time off. Here in Bahrain, employees are entitled to a 1-month vacation every year, on your second year, an employee gets free roundtrip ticket. Whichever country you’re from, you have an annual vacation leave (I surely hope so). Use this leave to travel or go somewhere where you would not think of work.

Note: Don’t leave work for more than a month though, my previous boss used to tell me “Out of sight, out of mind”. If you are out too long, you’ll spend a lot of time remembering how to do your work again. 

How about you? How do you deal with burnout?

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