Top 5 ways to avoid IT burnout

Tom Merritt offers IT workers five tips to avoid burning out on the job.

Top 5 ways to avoid IT burnout

Repetitive work: Somehow it's always changing, so it's hard to stay current. Sound like a recipe for burnout? Sound like IT? You may love IT work, but that doesn't mean it can't still fry your brain. Here are five ways to avoid IT burnout. (Note: This article on preventing developer burnout is available as a free PDF download.)

  1. Automate and delegate. If computers can safely do it, let them. That's your superpower--making computers do cool things, so use it. Delegate where you can so you don't get caught in repetitive drudgery.
  2. Always train. You get stressed when you feel like you're falling behind in knowledge. You get stressed when you feel like you're not growing and learning new things. Training addresses both of these problems, and benefits your company to boot.
  3. Simplify processes. Unnecessary restrictions and paperwork are like the kindling to the fire that burns you out. Look for places where reducing the number of approvers or restrictions won't make a difference to security or reliability.
  4. Build relationships. Everybody wants their problem solved now. Like good fences make good neighbors, good ticketing and prioritization systems make good support clients. Communicate what's going on, and get to know people as humans, not just tickets.
  5. Preventative maintenance. Set up systems that identify issues before they become fires, and you spend your days putting out one fire after another.

Just the act of troubleshooting this kind of stuff will help many people in IT feel better already. Hopefully, these tips are like cool water on your potential burnout.

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By Tom Merritt

Tom is an award-winning independent tech podcaster and host of regular tech news and information shows. Tom hosts Sword and Laser, a science fiction and fantasy podcast, and book club with Veronica Belmont. He also hosts Daily Tech News Show, coverin...