When developers burn out, platforms catch fire
With news about Coronavirus screaming at us from all angles, it might seem that the virus is the only danger out there. But don’t get tricked by this. As software developers we constantly battle our occupational nemesis, developer burnout. And as we all know when developers burn out, platforms catch fire.
Everyone gets his own flavour and intensity. For me it is mostly an acute loss of fun doing my job, which otherwise brings a ton of joy and excitement. As with most things in life, time heals. However with this one, I wouldn’t just wait it out.
There are many articles on this topic, written by professionals, with in-depth explanations and numerous suggestions on how to defeat the beast. Here however I would like to present a short and opinionated compilation of 4 actionable steps that have already saved me a dozen times. My personal experience shows that in an early stage burnout can be treated and aborted successfully by this approach.
Make breaks from work
Luckily, labour and employment laws encourage (and sometimes even force) you to take vacations. When it feels like you cannot leave work or otherwise something bad happens, pay attention, this is the burnout talking to you. At this point take some time for yourself. Everything will most likely be just fine, if you are not there for a couple of days. If you don’t know how to start, a cup of tea might be a good first step. Just separate yourself both physically and mentally from your PC. Take this seriously especially when working remotely as in this case an extra effort is sometimes required to separate yourself from your work environment.
Take this as far as you can. I’m pretty sure you work so hard that you definitely deserve a big one.
If you are up to yoga, try to practise Smile-Asana.
Don’t fight alone
Mention to your colleagues about your struggles. This is totally professional. Employers could play a very important role in relieving stress on their developers. Extra recognition of someone’s achievements can go a long way. Or a switch of focus from one project to another might actually not only help a developer, but also benefit a project.
Be there for others, we are all in the same boat. Take care!