How to Prevent or Recover from Developer Burnout - Deepstash
How to Prevent or Recover from Developer Burnout

How to Prevent or Recover from Developer Burnout


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How to Prevent or Recover from Developer Burnout

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Burnout is a state of physical, emotional and mental collapse caused by stress or overwork. It is not a medical condition, but it still has severe effects on quality of life.

Burnout manifests itself in different ways for different people. But one thing is for sure: burnout doesn’t happen overnight, but it creeps up on you. To prevent developer burnout effectively, you need to notice the symptoms early on and address them as soon as possible. Let’s see what symptoms may indicate that you are burning out.


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  • Physical fatigue. If you don’t get enough physical activity, fatigue and lethargy become the norm.
  • Mental fatigue. If you don’t take breaks, switch activities, and let your brains rest, the fatigue will eventually take its toll.
  • Lowered immunity. Stress lowers your immune system and makes you more susceptible to colds and the flu.
  • Change in appetite or sleep habits. A lack of sleep, use of stimulants, stress and anxiety are most likely to influence your eating or sleep habits.
  • Frequent body aches. Body tensions, joint and muscle pain can be caused by anxiety and exhaustion.


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  • Feeling pressured or exhausted. These states can stem from internal factors, e.g. lowered productivity, or external factors, e.g. toxic work culture 
  • Sense of failure and self-doubt. If you feel low, you may engage in negative self-talk and think that you are not good enough for this job
  • Detachment, feeling alone in the world. You may feel like there’s none there to help you with it
  • Depersonalization: cynicism and indifference.  It’s when you feel detached or even callous towards your colleagues, projects and clients.


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  • Inefficiency and reduced performance refer to the feeling of incompetence and a lack of productivity, achievement and recognition.
  • Withdrawing from responsibilities. When drained, you are likely to procrastinate and avoid responsibility to avoid possible failure.
  • Absenteeism. If you notice the tendency to come late at work or take multiple sick days or day-offs, then chances are you are burned out.
  • Isolating yourself from others. You don't want to talk to friends or coworkers, become angry when someone speaks to you or even come in early or leave late to avoid interactions.
  • Food or alcohol abuse.


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  • Workload that exceeds your capacity
  • Lack of autonomy
  • Chaotic environment
  • Mismatch between invested efforts and rewards
  • Unchallenging tasks
  • Unsupportive or toxic community
  • Unfairness
  • Values mismatch
  • Work from home
  • Lack of visible results
  • Work put on the backburner


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  • “Type A” personality. 
  • Poor work-life balance.
  • Lack of meaningful relationships.
  • Not taking enough care of your body.
  • Not taking your feelings and wishes seriously. 


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  • Recalibrate your career compass
  • Review your job responsibilities
  • Expand your professional horizons
  • Reduce exposure to job stressors
  • Seek out connections
  • Update your CV and portfolio
  • Sign up for industry events
  • Invest in your tools
  • Have a conversation with your manager
  • Consider changing projects or jobs


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  • Get a schedule
  • Schedule free time
  • Learn to prioritize
  • Say no
  • Know your limits
  • Get comfortable with imperfection
  • Practice single-tasking
  • Track your time
  • Estimate your activities
  • Review your performance regularly


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  • Discover and follow your North Star
  • Indulge in other passions
  • Improve your soft skills
  • Review your needs and habits
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Push yourself out of your comfort zone
  • Fill your days with joy
  • Start therapy
  • Practice journaling


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  • Review your daily activities
  • Spend quality time
  • Eat high-nutrition foods 
  • Develop a consistent sleep schedule
  • See your doctor to get a routine checkup
  • Establish personal boundaries
  • Stay physically active
  • Try meditation
  • Spend time in nature
  • Seek support


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Occasional writer about time management and productivity


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