Go Home Already! Don’t Let Burnout Happen To You!

We’ve all been warned many times before… We’ve been told that it would eventually happen if we were not careful… If we spent too much time in our code and not enough enjoying life we would eventually get “Burned Out”.

Well its true you know?

Burn out is a real thing and I think there are even varying degrees of it. Hell,  I get burned out everyday after work. I go home and have to scrape together motivation to work on my personal projects after spending all day coding for the man. That lifestyle is probably not good for me but programming is my passion. But like all good things, one can have too much. We have to pace ourselves and make sure that we are taking the proper time off to maintain our sanity and, often, not negatively affecting our mental and physical health.

So what can we do?

Often I see that people have no idea what else to do. Us programmers tend to be a boring crowd. So here are a list of suggestions for alternatives that I think most people would enjoy

  • First and foremost, if you have a spouse or children I shouldn’t even be discussing this with you. Spend time with your family dammit.
  • Traveling is always a suggestion but what needs to be understood is that you do not have to go far. You do not need to leave your country/state/province/etc… to find a good time and feel like your traveling. Try this, if you have a little extra money, go rent a room at a hotel or hostel in your hometown and treat the area like you’re a visitor. I live on the north side of Atlanta, GA  and renting a room downtown and enjoying the night life as if I’m not from the area feels as foreign as another American city.  Bonus points if you have a hot date with you.
  • Find your happy place. If you don’t have a happy place, get one… now. A happy place can be anywhere. Mine is a small coffee shop down the street from my house. On a clear evening, few things bring me as much joy as just sitting by myself with my thoughts under the umbrella outside that coffee shop while staring into the distance. Everyone NEEDS a happy place and the very act of looking for yours can be an adventure.
  • Read about new technologies. This is a bit counter intuitive as it is really close to just coding but hear me out. Often times, even when I am just tired of programming I’ll just surf the net and have a look at some new languages or libraries out there. The very act of me reading about them elicits all this excitement about the different things I could do with them and makes me want to start coding all over again. I am probably not the only person that gets this way.
  • Art. It has been said that programming is primarily a creative process and I happen to agree. WE need to release our creative energy in another medium. A lot of programmers are also musicians or painters. Find what artistic area you are good at and set up a workspace for you to create things in another discipline.

These are just a few suggestions and if you have one yourself, please post it in the comments. Most of my posts are directly about coding but I felt that this was something that was needed as coding is not the only thing there is in life and should not even be the most important thing. We are not here for a very long time so please get out and enjoy it the best you can!