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Discussion on: How do YOU deal with burnout?

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Brandon Burzon • Edited on

I don't have a lot of context on your situation other than what you have given us, but here are my two cents (although reading it now seems more like a nickle haha)

Are you burnt out right now?
No, I am not currently.

How do you deal with your burnout?
The best way to handle burnout is to avoid getting there to begin with.

If you are already at this stage, I think it is important to communicate this with your manager/mentor and reflect on what about your work is burning you out.

  • Not enough time?
  • Not enough people?
  • Is there a bottleneck in the process that make work extra painful?
  • Etc.

Based on this, he or she should be able to give you better advice since they will have more context on the situation.

Working long hours and late nights may be good short term, but it isn't sustainable long term.

Note: If your manager is not willing to work with you, don't be afraid to talk to his or her manager.

How do you carry on working when the deadlines keep coming?
The long term value that you can bring to the company is more valuable than burning yourself out for one project. Don't be afraid to push deadlines especially if not pushing it will impact your mental well-being and the quality of the code/work you are able to deliver. Remember that learning to say "No" is part of growing.

How do you recover when you need to pay the bills?
There are free or cheap things you can do to help recover. Here are some of the things I do:

  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Pomodoro (check out "Deep Work" by Cal Newport on Audible)
  • Take a walk
  • Start hobby/activity that isn't related to work (for me, this is snowboarding using my company's discount)
  • Try a new environment. Work from home, library, your favorite Cafe, or by a lake!

How long did it take you to recover?
It depends.

How do you keep up with new tech if your day job seems overwhelming as it is?
You don't have to keep up with 100% of the new tech that comes up every day. This alone, will burn you out.

It sounds like you already have a pretty challenging project that I am sure you are learning a lot from. For me, I simply skim and Hacker news to see if there are things I can apply to my personal or work projects (usually takes <5 min a day).

How do you deal with the depression?
Depression should always be taken seriously. It's like a chronic disease that will always come back if you don't have the tools or knowledge on how to properly deal with it.

As a side note, being depressed could make you more vulnerable to social engineering which could lead to permanent damages. Don't hesitate to see a professional. Most, if not all of the cost should be covered by insurance.

Good luck and wish you all the best!