Burnout is something that can affect anyone not only programmers and when it hits it has I effects in your productivity.
In this article I'll talk about some signs and symptoms of burnout and how you can prevent or manage the burnouts.
Not everything I discuss here are the only signs and symptoms you might experience and others may experience none of these symptoms at all while others can experience all of the symptoms
Programmer Burnout comes with different signs and symptoms and this can come out in so many ways, not only through the signs and symptoms I'm about to share. So let's get started.
There are days when you just feel like you don't feel productive, things just don't make sense to you. When get into your working area and you feel like you just don't want to sit in front of a computer screen, this might or might not be a sign of starting to burn out.
1. Feelings of Isolation
When you start feeling like you just want to isolate yourself from people and just do things your way, you no longer want to interact with your team if you were previously working with a team, then this might be a sign of burnout.
2. Feeling tired
Feeling tired not only refers to being tired physically but one can also get tired mentally. Where you feel like your brain just can't process anything, all you want to do is lie down and do nothing at all. At times when you sit ready to work on a project you just feel like your body isn't giving in, you feel tired without having done anything, then high chances are you are already getting burned out.
3. Loss of Motivation and Passion
Passion and motivation drives our daily tasks and doings and once you no longer feel any of these then you won't do anything constructive. Without passion you won't have the urge to do something and without motivation you won't have the drive to do something. Once you start experiencing like you are loosing your passion to code and motivation, then this is a sign of getting burned out.
4. Feelings of Depression and Anxiety
Depression is one thing that destroys so many competent beings out here and it can be hard to manage if you don't get the right support. When you start feeling like you are getting feelings of depression and anxiety then it's another sign of getting burned out.
Causes of Burnouts
1. Your mind getting overworked - we all need to process things as we do them and our minds does all that and once our minds gets overworked or gets pushed to it's limit, then this can cause burnouts.
2. Doing Same Type of Work Day in Day out - as a programmer most of the time you'll find yourself doing the same work day in day out. This is not healthy and can also lead to burnouts. Doing the same work necessarily means for example doing like web-development day in day out using the same technologies without getting a chance to try new technologies. This will drain your passion quickly.
3. Sitting in front of a Computer for long - You might find yourself in a deadline situation and you keep pushing yourself into coding for more than 8 hours daily without taking breaks, this can have negative effects in your life and hence cause burnouts.
4. Lack of Exercise and Sleep - our bodies are built in a way that we need to exercise regularly and have enough sleep for us to be productive and when someone stops doing regular exercises and stops having enough sleep then this can cause burnouts.
5. Being Isolated - for extroverts who like being around people will have a hard time coping up with being isolated, for example if a job demands you to travel away from your friends and go to a place you know no one, feelings of isolation will start creeping in and can lead to burnouts.
How To Prevent Burnouts
Many people have different ways on how they prevent burnouts and this might be different for different persons;
1. Take breaks - breaks are very important and as a programmer you should take breaks oftenly to go get a cup a coffee, stretch or even take a shower. This will help so much in preventing burnouts.
2. Feeding your passion - passion drives so many things and as a programmer you should keep your passion going by trying to learn new technologies and trying new things away from work and later trying to implement them at your work place.
3. Regular Exercises and Getting Enough Sleep - for your body and mind to work well you need enough sleep and regular exercises. Doing exercises for at least 30 minutes a day will go a long way into making sure you are not prone to burnouts and getting enough sleep will make sure your mind is at its optimal state.
4. Taking vacations - taking vacations and some time off from coding once in a while will also play a big role into making sure you are preventing burnouts. Or rather taking some few days off work and try doing some of your hobbies.
5. Be Around People - friends and family play a major role in preventing burnouts. Hanging with friends or family after work and having fun together will definitely help alot in improving your productivity and also prevent burnouts.
Getting Out of Burnouts
We discussed about signs, causes and how to prevent burnout, but what if you are already burned out, what can you do?
1. Find a Hobby - getting into hobbies and trying to find something new to do can help one to get out of burnouts.
2. Take time off - for one to be able to come out of a burnout, one needs time, and taking some time off will help. Don't do any coding when you are taking your time off and don't code for a week or two.
3. Try New Technologies - trying new technologies can push you into trying to learn something new and this can help you come out of burnouts.
4. Changing Coding Environments - trying a different coding environment can help bring back your passion, for example using a different text-editor or IDE can push you into learning the new controls and shortcuts thus helping you come out of burnouts.
5. Start Off Slow after Coming Back - after taking some time off, when you go back to coding, start it off slow by trying to do a less engaging project rather than starting with a complex project.
That's all I had for you guys, hope this helps you manage your burnouts or prevent them. See you in the next article.
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