How to Avoid Burnout as a Software Developer?

How to Avoid Burnout as a Software Developer?

Burning out as a software engineer is more common than you think. Sure everyone has different coping capabilities. But in some cases it might end quite badly.

For example I personally know one developer who worked really hard on his startup for months, 15 hours a day with no days off. At the end he tired his brain so much doctor forbid him to you a computer as a thing for 6 month otherwise his brain will be seriously damaged.

Surely this is an extreme case that is very unlikely to happen, but my main point is that sometimes while working towards deadline of a project or release it can be easy to lose track of time. You might get lots of pressure from management to finish it faster or put an extra hour of work and there’s nothing wrong to walk that extra mile in order to show your dedication to the project and employer.For example in one of my previous projects I worked for 200 hours one month since overtime was paid and I was short on money. It was really mentally draining, but a challenge under which I wanted to test myself as well. Still you need to have a good reason to work such a schedule.

Don’t make overtime a habit. You have limited amount of time in a day so use it smartly. Those extra hours spent on a project could be spent on learning new skills which might help you to get a better offer down the road. 

Take some rest. At least on weekends try to use computer or a smart phone as less as possible. Your eyes worked real hard whole week so give them some rest. Don’t forget to take short breaks at work too. Just look through the window for 30s every hour, nobody is too busy for that or if you have bit of time just jump out for a quit 5min walk.

Find a hobby which would force you to go outside. There is a saying “get paid for your hobby and you won’t need to work a for a day”. I’m really happy if coding is that hobby for you. But your body was built to move – not to sit next to the screen all day. So second hobby which would force you to exercise a bit would help a lot. Your coding productivity and quality will increase as well. 

Drink plenty of water. It is important to stay hydrated. There are many different opinions on how much water you should be drinking every day, but at least have a glass every 3 hours, this is what I do. I always keep my water bottle on a table at work, so its always there as a reminder to take a sip.

Do not cut your sleeping time. While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best. I know there are some people who can perform well with just 4 hours of sleep a night, but personally when I’m sleep deprived I can really feel it in a quality of my work.

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