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Combat Burn out, what works for you

By Jcritch ·
As a old fart in the IT field (20+ years) maybe the old dogs need to teach the new dogs some tricks to stay alive and healthy in this field.

I am calling on everyone young and old, what do you do to keep from burning out?

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Something creative works for me

by gmetcalf In reply to Find some other thing

After a long day staring at a screen, I find that something manual and creative is the ideal thing to wind down: I beat the daylights out of bits of metal - silver in my case - and make jewellery. Wood-turning is a close second.
For something really cathartic, that does not involve looking at something fourteen inches away, I would recommend field archery - join a club, find some woodland, and shoot arrows at animal-shaped targets (*Not*, I would emphasise, real animals!!!). Pretend that they're the boss, or that awkward client you were dealing with yesterday!

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what i do.

by donnieg In reply to Combat Burn out, what wor ...

i've been working with computer since my early teens so i've seen their evolution starting with the commodore64. i've been a one man IT department (you name it i work on it) now for the past 10yrs for a health care provider that has nine clinics, talk about being burnt out. in order to keep myself occupied i try to occupy my mind with brainstorming for plots for stories and novels. for the past 2 years i've been writing poetry, short stories and i've even completed a novel. who knows, maybe if the novel sales maybe i can quit my job and change over to writing full time.

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BTW

by donnieg In reply to what i do.

before anyone says anything, i didn't actually do the writing at work. i just jot down the ideas then write when i get home.

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Do this, you'll thanks me

by master3bs In reply to Combat Burn out, what wor ...

I mentioned earlier this morning that juggling is a good method for stress relief. I just blogged about it here with some tips on learning.

http://techrepublic.com.com/5247-6257-0.html?id=4212131

Just remember, juggling is catching!

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Like anywhere else in life: change or die

by DC Guy In reply to Combat Burn out, what wor ...

If you still enjoy coding, then keep coding. The world certainly needs all the expert coders it can get. But if you're getting tired of looking at the "small picture," it's just part of getting older and developing a broader perspective.

Get into management. Either project management or organizational management. If you have exceptional communication skills (admittedly a rarity in this profession but not among the one-percenters who participate in BBS traffic) then make your way into training, or perhaps even being a writer.

As you get OLDER, you're supposed to become an ELDER. If doing what you were doing twenty, thirty, forty years ago doesn't make you happy any more, IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO! Life doesn't work that way!

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Photography

by kdc In reply to Combat Burn out, what wor ...

I was feeling Burnt/Stressed/politicked/innovated-out!

I have recently rekindled my love for photography. It has always been something I enjoyed, now I use it as a way to escape from work. I purchased a Nikon D50 digital camers (SLR). Now, I think about what shots I've taken, my postings in Flickr.com, and the next planned outing by my photography meetup.com group.

I'm staying sane ... for now ;-)

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Do other things, have hobbies

Well, I work from home which helps because if I don't feel well, I can go get some rest. :) Also, if it's sunny and warm out after a few cold, rainy days, I can go enjoy it and then work at night instead.

I have found though, that those all-night coding sessions CAN take a toll on some people's health (namely mine). If you feel tired and wiped out a lot, try to see if you can somehow go to bed early and get up early for awhile. And try to get more hours sleep as well.

Keeping hobbies helps me. I like to build model car kits, talk and visit with friends, if I'm feeling able, work on my car a little (it's nearly a classic now and doing well), plan some future activities to look forward to, do a craft, go for walks, watch a cool DVD, take some pictures of nature, flowers, parks, etc. Generally try to find activities that do not involve a computer. Which is hard to do these days. :) Sometimes even a change of scene on the computer is nice, be it working on your own web site, chatting with friends, or doing some digital art, maybe learn a new skill.

I have heard that for some, volunteer work helps a lot. Getting out and into the community, maybe teach a kid in a poor neighborhood how to use computers through a recreation program, or share your knowledge with others through community programs. Or attend a community program totally unrelated to what you do, to maybe learn something new, try something different.

Others who like to travel, might plan a weekend road trip, or ride motorcycles, or just go camping (WITHOUT the computer! :))

Just some ideas. I think "burnout" has always come in the form of too many long hours coding into wee hours of the morning and only getting 4 hours of sleep in between. That is when I usually feel the most wiped out. Also keeping up with regular meals and good nutrition helps. Health first. It's not easy but it's necessary!

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Have an unrelated Side Business

by miltuckydave In reply to Combat Burn out, what wor ...

My wife and I have a DJing business I started when still in college. Try dealing with Brides on weekends and then complain about IT workload, end-users and MS patches.....

It makes IT work look like a vacation. Using your brain or dealing with a hormonal 20 something bent on making her day special...

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Cool Down

by Craig_B In reply to Combat Burn out, what wor ...

Burn out or stress can be in every occupation, it can also be resolved. Here's what I have done to reduce stress and start enjoying my life more:
Stop reading the newspaper, stop watching the news, Drive the speed limit, stop listening to jarring music and listen to Classical music, eat healthy food, think good thoughts, practice my spirituality, etc.

Basically I simplified my life and paid attention to what was going into my body, mind and spirit. I now only put good things in and try to put good thing out. My mantra is Good Thoughts, Good Actions, Good Deeds.

My life still has it's ups and downs however they way I react to them is much different, much better.

Follow your heart, your spirit, live life, don't just work to get to the next day.

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Intelligent life...

by phineas In reply to Cool Down

Wow ! what a relief, there is still intelligent life somewhere in IT. Thanks Craig.

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