Managing developer burnout

Some days I really hate coding! If I had to look at a screen for 5 more minutes I would have to shoot myself. At those times I start to wonder how I got into all of this and then I start having fantasies about what other things I could have a career in.

"You know, I should have been a carpenter" that would be something I would say to a co-worker. If you know me, manual labor is not my thing and that just highlights my level of frustration at that moment. At first I did not know what was wrong, I genuinely thought coding was no longer for me and I should move on, but once I had goofed off for a day or two or sometimes as long as a week I would find myself day dreaming about things I could code again. It was not till much later I learned I was not the only one that gets this way, and that other people burnout too

Once I knew it was a thing, I started taking it seriously because I realized if I didn't I Would be taken out of the game. After a bunch of research I found a couple things that helped me prevent it:

  • I started taking Sleep seriously. Sleeping for 8-hours minimum always got me started on the right foot
  • Eating right was critical, Continued junk food intake just messes with me. I look like shit and feel like shit.
  • Taking breaks, no matter how time sensitive a project is, when I catch myself stressing out too much, I just started taking breaks. I go watch tv, take a nap or something. My rationale is, as long as no one is gonna die the world will survive if I take a break. So far it has worked out fine.
  • Doing other things. If I was left alone, there are weeks where I could code from when I wake till when I sleep. I realized this made me to burnout the quickest. I usually catch it when I run into a problem and find I cannot seem to follow simple instructions to solve it. So now even if I feel like coding for 8 hours, I usually try to add other activities in my day to break things up.

I find the longer I avoid burnouts the more productive I can be in the long run, even though I may technically spend less time at a keyboard.