Burnout is the most dangerous enemy that can plague any developer, no matter how good and experienced. Interestingly, programmers are more prone to burnout than other professionals. But what would unlock such a condition?
One reason we often underestimate is sitting at a desk for more than 8 hours a day. This adversely affects our physical health as prolonged looking at a screen drains our energy and causes fatigue. Developers often work longer hours to meet deadlines, exacerbating the problem. Task overload is a sure way to cause a burnout.
Another cause of burnout is mental health issues, which we also don’t pay proper attention to. Programming is a highly cognitively intensive and stressful job that requires problem-solving skills and tremendous concentration. This can lead to mental fatigue and exhaustion.
Monotony in work can make it monotonous and lead to lack of motivation and passion for programming. This feeling of stagnation can cause anxiety and insomnia, especially if it lasts for weeks.
Isolation from others is another cause of burnout as it can make programmers feel disconnected and lonely. Lack of exercise, sleep and poor nutrition can also contribute to burnout by depleting mental and physical energy.
How to deal with the burnout problem
Building healthy habits
As the saying goes, “healthy body – healthy spirit”. Leading a life with healthy habits can significantly reduce the likelihood of depression. Furthermore, building positive habits starts with setting achievable goals. Achieving these goals generates feelings of satisfaction and joy, which in turn stimulates the release of dopamine, the brain chemical called “feel-good.”
Developers are usually logical thinkers who understand the importance of breaking bad habits and replacing them with positive ones. Whether it’s taking a walk, going for a run or doing a few sit-ups, the key is to start small. Building a new routine takes time and effort, but the rewards are worth it in the end.
Work intelligently, not just tirelessly
It’s not always possible for one person to do tasks like for three. Fortunately, there are numerous solutions that help developers work smarter, not harder. For example, an artificial intelligence tool can significantly boost their productivity if they struggle to create enough code. If collaboration tools are taking up too much of their time, consider trying to automate the handoff of tasks to the team.
Team building activities that encourage interaction and participation
Building a cohesive team of developers is essential for any company. Team building activities can help achieve this goal. This can include group games, team discussions, offsite retreats, or even participation in common activities. The critical element is to create an enjoyable and interactive experience that brings team members closer together and can improve team dynamics, increase productivity and enhance the work environment. This way, a developer who is facing a burnout will be less stressed because he will know that there are colleagues who would help him if he needs it.