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Constantly feeling burnt out - How to deal with it?

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Anonymous User at Taro Community10 months ago

I’ve been feeling burnt out at my job in the sense of having barely any passion or motivation left for the work. After taking some time off on multiple occasions, I find that I fall back into the same place a couple of weeks into working again. Has anyone experienced this consistent state of feeling burnt out and were you able to overcome it? If so, how did you do it?



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    Principal Director at Capgemini
    10 months ago

    There are many sources leading to burnout, so to properly diagnose it for your situation, we'd have to get more into specifics.

    That being said, here are a few sources I've come across and solutions to overcome them.

    • Poor physical health & habits: sleep, diet, and exercise are the big 3. Without some baseline on all 3 of these, it will start affecting other areas of your life. Solutions are 'simple', but difficult unless turned into a habit and made a priority.
      • Sleep: block out ~8 hours like an important meeting, stick to it. One trap is trying to squeeze more work at the cost of sleep because you fell behind (procrastination, ad-hoc requests, etc.).
      • Diet: separate meals for utility and meals for enjoyment. For utility, go for the same regimented boring meals that are pre-prepped - search 'slow carb diet', which worked for me in the past.
      • Exercise: I struggle the most with this, but have a pre-planned routine for various intervals of time - 2 mins, 5 mins, 10 mins, 30 mins, 1 hr. I find it harder to only exercise with you have at least 30 mins, so you end up doing it less frequently. Here's some examples by time interval - 2 mins: stretch, plank, pushups, 5 mins: exercise bike if accessible, 10 mins: combine the 5 mins & 2 mins ones or go for a walk.
    • Relationships: do an energy audit here. After each interaction, do you feel like a better person or worse off after it? (note: better off doesn't necessarily means feeling good in the short term, but more along the lines of a better version of yourself). Apply 80/20 to based on this - double down on the good ones and trim/minimize interaction with the bad ones.
    • Lack of Purpose in Work/Profession: first, invest a lot of time to identify what you like doing / spending time on. Define it as clearly as possible - maybe start a journal and write down what type of activities inspire you / drag you down (similar to energy audit under 'Relationships'). Afterwards, figure out what in your span of control and influence. Within that try to align how you spend your time and energy to working on solving problems you care about. If you find it misaligned in the medium/longer term, assess if it's caused by systemic factors in your environment / something else, then go from there.
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    Senior Software Engineer [L5] at Google
    10 months ago

    Burn out is very common in our industry, so you are not alone!

    Like Casey said, we won't be able to offer specific advice without understanding your problem in detail, but there is a general tip I can offer as food-for-thought for you.

    Fundamentally, burn out at work happens when your time working frequently leads to your mental, physical, and/or emotional energy being completed depleted.

    There are many tactics to (1) reduce energy leakage (2) increase energy generation.

    For (1), the fundamental rule is establish your boundaries. Finding your manager pinging you off hours? Finding yourself getting distracted with Youtube or other social media that's not helping to make you feel better? Establish firm rules around what or what you will not do. There's quite a few books on this topic, but I've this one to be quite insightful.

    For (2), I would say there are two approaches to this. One way is to establish habits that give you more energy - for example, taking care of your physical energy will set an increased baseline for your other pursuits. The other is to find your intrinsic drive - do you know what you find meaningful to do, and are you doing those things? If not - do you know how you might figure it out or find a way to do those things in your life? Doing what you find most meaningful will give you a lot of energy and keep you going even when the work is hard.