Daily Tip: Avoiding Burnout

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Ask your average worker whether they’re at risk of burning out in the near future, and the answer you’re likely to hear back is, “Probably.” Americans are working longer hours than ever, and the prevalence of smartphones and tablets means that many workers never really shut off—how often have you heard people bragging and/or complaining about answering work-related emails at 2 a.m.?

For hardcore programmers and developers, the pressures are often more intense, especially if it’s “crunch time” or “hell week” for a particular project. Recall the infamous “death marches” that many game studios have pledged to stop, or the sleepless nights that seem to accompany every narrative about launching a new website.

Given that pressure, it’s no wonder that more people find themselves suffering from fatigue, disillusionment, physical complaints, and an increasingly cynical attitude toward their work. If left untreated, burnout can have negative health effects, and impact the sufferer’s social interactions. But what’s the best way to curb burnout before it leaves someone extra-crispy? Here are some tips:

Exercise: It does wonders for the mind and body. A regular schedule of exercise (and getting out of both home and office) can help reduce stress.

Support: Some companies offer formal programs for helping deal with burnout, but even if those aren’t available, a support network of family, friends, and co-workers can help mitigate many of the stressors that contribute to mental exhaustion. Speaking of which…

Eliminate Stressors: While it’s impossible to eliminate all sources of stress from your life, you can identify key ones and take steps to remove them. Saying “no” to new requests and tasks can prove a big help in that regard.

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