Burnout: A state of emotional and physical exhaustion caused by a prolonged period of stress and frustration; an inevitable corporate condition characterized by frequent displays of unprofessional behavior, a blithe refusal to do any work, and most important, a distinct aura of not giving a shit. — Urban Dictionary
We all been there, feeling tired, bored and even sick of our work; burnout is very common in the tech industry, probably more common that most people want to realize.
There are countless posts, articles and even books that talk about preventing and/or dealing with burnout; exercise, meditation, changing jobs, go in on vacation, changing your diet or taking a bunch of pills (vitamins). All of those have been suggested by the internet gurus, web doctors and startup celebrities.
But I’m not going to tell you to do any of those things because frankly if you start exercising, meditation or doing whatever it helps you to fight burnout while you are burnout then this new habit are not going to stick, or you probably won’t do them correctly and at then it will be a waste of time that will only another ‘failure’ to your life and contribute to that burnout feeling.
So how do you combat burnout, well here is the secret … you don’t, at least not until you understand it, so let’s jump into some definitions of what burnout is and what is not.
According to wikipedia:
Burnout is a psychological term that refers to long-term exhaustion and diminished interest in work.
Ok, so first two signs of burnout is feeling tired and not giving a shit, but how do we get at this point in the first place; burning out it’s a gradual process, you don’t wake up one morning and suddenly think “I’m tired of my life and no longer give a shit” —…well maybe you but that’s a different set of issues not burnout.—
Burnout starts to set in when that feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction starts to vanish from your daily lives —burnout not only affects our professional lives but our personal ones too, for example one can be emotionally burnout— this is very noticeable in our professional lives where the majority of people expects to achieve clear results every time.
It’s all related as how as a society we perceive success and accomplishments, we have a very clear and narrow definition of what success means and how is supposed to look like and when we don’t achieve those specific goals we start to feel as a failure, depressed, irritated and eventually burnout.
The most effective way of fighting burnout is to preventing it to ever happen, to do that we need to change the way we perceive success and how we measure achievements; even in failure there are reasons to be learned.
Burnout sets in when we stop learning, when we stop thinking, when we don’t realize that even if we are not achieving the results we were hoping, there is still much to learn.
So don’t fight burnout, just don’t let it set in.