Burnout Revisited

Several months back I wrote a post about a bad case of burnout I had unexpectedly run into. I had known I was approaching burnout, but didn’t really realize just how burnt out I had gotten until someone else pointed it out to me (via a blogpost). Unfortunately I’ve run into the dreaded dead end again.

Recently I’ve been pushing myself really hard. Working longer hours trying to get through a few releases we needed to get done with work. I’ve simultaneously been trying (and failing) to complete several personal chores/goals/responsibilities. All of it has recently come to a sudden crash as it just finally became overwhelming. I found myself not sleeping, barely eating, and snapping on friends and colleagues.

I’ve since had a little time to calm down – taking a weekend off of the normal stuff to try to recover. It has brought me back to a question I’ve asked myself before, however. How do I retain my passion for what I’m doing while not driving myself to the edge and beyond? I’ve been floating several ideas that I’m planning to try, here’s the short list:

  1. Take a weekend a month and schedule some time off of the normal stuff. Maybe a vacation, maybe just trying something new, but something away from the usual work/personal woes that pile up.
  2. Find more balance in my day and create daily goals of what to get done (as opposed to weekly goals I’ve used in the past).
  3. Force myself to step away from whatever I’m doing if I’m sinking too much time into one task or area of my life.

I’m definitely open to suggestions or feedback, but this is what I’ve loosely come up with to try. How do you prevent burnout? What do you do to make sure you recognize it once you’re approaching it?

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