Job burnout may seem relatively insignificant. In reality, it can have a devastating impact, not only on your career, but your personal life and your health as well. When you’re juggling high stress, a lack of purpose, and physical symptoms including headaches and insomnia, it’s difficult to focus or have a positive outlook.
Burnout in general is on the rise, and more web developers are starting to talk about its impact. Preventing and combating burnout are skills that will only become more crucial to people in the industry, as will learning how to spot signs of burnout before it becomes overwhelming.
In this article, we’ll discuss what burnout is and how it affects web developers in particular. Then we’ll share five tips on how to prevent and combat burnout so you can stay healthy and learn to enjoy your work again. Let’s get started!
An Introduction to the Concept of Burnout
Burnout is a specific type of job-related stress. Several factors related to your work and its environment can contribute to burnout, and it can ultimately have negative impacts on your health. While burnout itself isn’t considered a medical condition, it can still degrade your quality of life.
There are both physical and emotional symptoms of burnout. People experiencing it report a lack of focus, irritability, and feeling like their work has no purpose. Burnout can also lead to headaches, insomnia, and heartburn. More serious problems include an increased risk for heart attacks and type two diabetes.
Probable cause of burnout include high workloads, a poor work-life balance, and feelings of isolation. Web developers can easily get hit with high workloads when faced with bugs requiring a fix at short notice. Additionally, some suspect isolation is a major cause of depression in developers.
Burnout is also more likely to impact freelancers and entrepreneurs due to inconsistent workflows, lack of healthcare resources, and time requirements. Developers who’ve started their own business or work as freelancers face an increased chance of experiencing burnout at some point in their career.
How to Prevent Burnout as a Web Developer (5 Tips)
While the consequences of burnout may be severe, there are practices to help prevent it. In some cases, seeking professional insight for treating burnout-related anxiety or depression may be wise. If you’re already burned out, using these tips can help you recover.
1. Practice ‘Self Care’ to Avoid Poor Physical and Mental Health
Taking care of your body and mind can stave off some of the health issues burnout brings on. Maintaining a good diet and exercising regularly are good places to start. Exercise can also provide stress relief, as can practices such as mediation.
If your job seems overwhelming, fitting exercise and meditation into your day may feel impossible. Scheduling set times for these activities and committing to using the time only for exercise and mediation can help. You might find you have more time than you think.
As for your eating habits, studies show that eating at your desk has negative effects on your social life and your health. Choosing to spend your lunch break with co-workers or friends provides a break in your workday. Plus, it reduces feelings of isolation, and minimizes the amount of snacking you might do throughout the day.
2. Designate Boundaries to Keep Work Separate from Your Personal Life
These days, we’re bombarded with notifications from texts, emails, and social media. Checking your work email when you’re not at work prevents you from getting out of work-mode and into relaxation-mode when you’re off the clock. This adds to your stress levels and can lead to burnout.
Eliminating work-related notifications from your devices can help you unwind at the end of the day. You can change your notification settings, log out of your work-related accounts, or even create a schedule for when you’ll allow yourself to check work communications.
For some people, being constantly available is a company expectation. If this is the case for you, try talking with your boss about it. Explaining why you think having a break would improve your work during regular hours may help change those expectations.
3. Seek Outlets to Help You Reduce Stress
While exercise and mediation are solid stress-reducing strategies, for some they may not be enough. Having a hobby, especially a creative one, is a way to reduce stress and improve your work-life balance at the same time.
It’s also been shown that spending time outdoors reduces stress, especially when we’re able to ‘unplug’ and take a break from technology. Hiking and other outdoor activities provide a nice change of pace from sitting at your computer or staring at your phone.
Try scheduling some time to practice a favorite hobby or take a day trip to a nearby park. Even setting aside an hour or two of unplanned free time can help. If you’re able to set aside your devices during that time, you’ll reduce your stress levels even more.
4. Find Ways to Make Work Less Overwhelming
A high workload is a major contributor to burnout. Finding ways to reduce or streamline the amount of work you have to complete can improve your stress levels and the quality of your work. Delegating tasks where you’re able can get some work off your plate.
Learning when to say no is also an important skill to have, especially for freelancers. It can be tempting to take on project after project for fear that you won’t have more opportunities in the future. If you burn out while trying to juggle more than you can handle, however, you may come to dread future projects.
Finding tools you can use to simplify or automate your tasks can also help. Our platform enables you to manage multiple sites from a single, easy-to-use dashboard. We also offer automatic updates, performance checks, and security checks.
5. Rediscover Your Purpose and Make Work Enjoyable Again
Feeling your work lacks purpose can quickly lead to burnout. When you think there’s no point in doing your work, it’s easy to slip into boredom and cynicism when it comes to your job. You’re also less likely to produce high-quality results, which can cause you to doubt your abilities.
Sometimes it helps to go back to your roots. Try recalling the reasons you went into your industry in the first place. If you can recognize the reasons you once enjoyed your work in your current projects, you may be able to reignite your interest.
You could also try taking on a project that aligns with your personal values. Developing a website for a nonprofit that supports a cause you care about or seeking out projects related to your hobbies or other interests might get you excited about your work again.
Burnout isn’t some mystical condition people use as an excuse for being sluggish at work. It can have real and serious consequences if you don’t take steps to prevent and combat it. With many web developers starting to burn out, those in the industry can benefit from understanding how to handle it.
In this article, we’ve discussed what burnout is and how it impacts web developers. We’ve also provided five tips on how to prevent or treat burnout, including:
- Practice self care to avoid poor physical and mental health.
- Designate boundaries to keep work separate from your personal life.
- Seek outlets to help you reduce stress.
- Find ways to make work less overwhelming.
- Rediscover your purpose and make work enjoyable again.
Do you have questions about burnout and how it impacts web developers? Let us know in the comments section below!
Featured Image Credit: Pexels
Excerpt: Burnout can have serious consequences for people in all industries, including web developers. In this article, we’ll discuss what burnout is and how it affects developers in particular. Then we’ll share five tips on how to prevent and combat burnout so you can stay healthy and learn to enjoy your work again.