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Discussion on: Burnout

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Bryan Ollendyke

Every time, disrupting my routine that lead to the burn out solves the problem. Disruption can come in many forms for many people. It could be taking a walk outside, dropping all things you "HAVE TO DO RIGHT NOW" one day, and staring at a mountain. It could be anything. For me, I usually stop everything, walk, or when on campus I go to the business building and put on a play list that I usually get ideas to. Then I play it w/ my notebook and I sit staring into the sky or at the fountain.

Another disruption is always sleep. I'll intentionally go to bed at an "illogical" time. Like 8 or 9 pm instead of the 11-1 range I normally rock. After a day or two of that, and not looking at screens but doodling in notebooks, I can undo the locks in my head keeping me from progression.

As for scale, rockets, and crashing via low resources and high demands, I offer this image I found on twitter -

The task at hand, unpacking it and climbing to learn more about something that might be futile could be the story of my professional life, and was an incredibly hard lesson to learn. Let me collapse 15 years into a sentence though: it's never wasted effort, and all projects no matter how big or small, complicated or simple, are an opportunity for growth.

Never give up on your dream, whatever it may be, but also never be unbending in your pursuit to how that dream is executed or the scale to which you envision it. Being willing to change scope in order to make it manageable and bite off chunks at a time can help make progress. Also, document everything all the time. Any time I write a 2-5 line chunk of code that might be confusing or assumes something in the underlying variable names, logic, context; I document what I am thinking about at that time that I am writing it. This is not for another person to read and get; it's for a future version of me to burn less cycles when my "brilliant idea" of today, inevitably needs revising at a later version of me in the timeline.

Take care of you, get creative, get away from the work, document it heavily while doing it, and never back down.