If you’ve worked as an IT professional for a while, you’re probably familiar with burnout. It’s not just something that happens to people who work too hard or have demanding jobs—it can also occur to those who are simply passionate about what they do.
You may have IT burnout if you:
- Feel constantly tired and exhausted.
- Feel like you’re not making progress in your work.
- Feel like you’re not doing your best work or that what you’re doing isn’t good enough.
So, what should you do if you suffer from these symptoms? Here are a few practical solutions for beating IT burnout.
Your 7 Steps for Beating IT Burnout
1. Reduce your workload
The most effective way to prevent burnout is to reduce your workload. This doesn’t mean that you should stop completing tasks entirely, but it does mean that you should be selective about what (and how much) you take on.
There are several ways you can do this:
- Reduce the number of projects you are working on: If possible, pick ONE project and work solely on that project until completion. It’ll keep your stress levels down and allow you to give each task your full attention.
- Reduce the number of hours you work per day: Time is not an unlimited resource! If possible, only work 40 hours per week (or less). This will allow for more rest time between working days.
2. Recharge regularly
Beating IT burnout largely depends on taking breaks—yes, that means taking some time off your computer. You could read a book, do some exercise, listen to music, or even spend time with friends and family.
A significant part of overcoming IT burnout is learning to say “no” when necessary.
This can be difficult for people who are used to being seen as reliable professionals (which, of course, we all want to be). But saying “yes” to everything and anything can quickly fill your calendar with commitments, which may lead to stress.
3. Set boundaries at home
It’s also important to avoid bringing your work home with you, a bad habit that many IT professionals fall into. Research shows that this can lead to stress and anxiety and prevent employees from getting enough sleep.
It’s easy to think about work while sitting at home, but doing so can harm your health. Though it might be tempting to open your computer and grind a little more on that project or check if any emails came in, these work-related tasks should be reserved solely for the office.
4. Make use of your vacation days
When you are burnt out, unmotivated to do anything, or are getting close to feeling that way, it’s time to use your vacation days.
Some IT professionals can feel guilty taking time off, but you might do more harm than good if you keep working while stressed. A week or two off can help you recharge your batteries and get back to work with fresh ideas and revitalized enthusiasm.
5. Take up a hobby that has nothing to do with technology
One of the best ways to deal with stress, in general, is to get a hobby. They can be great for your mental well-being, serving as a distraction from your busy life and providing some extra enrichment.
Still, try not to let technology interfere with your hobbies, if possible. For example, if you’re into painting or photography, don’t bring your laptop or phone into the studio with you until necessary.
Or, if going out into nature is one of your favorite ways to relax, try bringing along a book instead of an e-reader or tablet. That way, there will be no temptation to check your work email, social media, etc.
6. Don’t get wrapped up in your work identity
So, you’re a hard worker. You get your tasks done on time, and you never slack off. Your manager loves you; you get along with all the other employees and even volunteer to take on extra projects when necessary.
These are all excellent traits in the workplace—but they can also be detrimental if taken too far. When your job matters to you, it can be easy for things outside work to fall by the sidelines. And, before long, those parts of your life will begin to feel neglected.
It’s essential for everyone, especially those who work long hours due to high workloads or stressful situations at home, to make sure they have time away from their jobs. Those in the IT industry should be especially mindful of this and remember there’s more to them than their career—they are still human beings who need to take care of their health and minds.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Finally, being willing to ask for help is essential in beating IT burnout. IT workers who feel like they’re constantly in “work mode” may need help getting out of that state—and that includes asking others for assistance.
Whether this means requesting your boss to give you some time off or reaching out to your friends and family for support, it’s important not to try to handle everything on your own. You might even consider finding a therapist who can discuss your feelings and help you identify ways in which you can better cope with stress.
Beating IT Burnout with Lab651
IT burnout is an unfortunate symptom experienced by thousands of professionals worldwide, but that doesn’t mean you should be forced to “push through” it—or feel guilty when asking for help.
When you feel burnt out, take time to take care of yourself. And if you know someone who works in IT and may be suffering from burnout, don’t hesitate to reach out; they’ll appreciate the support.
Hiring an outsourced software development team is an easy solution if you’re a manager who wants to reduce your team’s workload and prevent burnout. Lab651 can provide you with the experts you need to streamline your project: click here to contact us today!