A recent study on burnout revealed that burnout is on the rise, finding that “Over half (52%) of survey respondents are experiencing burnout in 2021—up from the 43% who said the same in Indeed’s pre-COVID-19 survey.”
Anyone can experience burnout. At the same time, there are particular career paths that make you more vulnerable to it, like web development.
Unfortunately, developers experience burnout at an unusually high rate due to high stress levels and the sheer amount of mental energy needed in their roles. They’re also prone to becoming bored more quickly because their job responsibilities can include repetitious daily tasks.
Burnout can kill your entire career, sucking the passion you once had for development, along with your motivation, right out of you. Don’t fall victim to burnout in your developer journey.
We have a host of clients who rely on Lform to accomplish their B2B web design goals, so we’re very familiar with combating burnout to make sure our development team is always at their best. Here are some processes we use to avoid and alleviate burnout at Lform.
Cultivate Continual Innovation
It’s important to always look for new ways of doing, being, and seeing in website development. Examples of this can include finding more efficient ways to approach development, trying out new solutions, or learning how to collaborate better with other development professionals.
Cultivating continual innovation can prove very useful for developers, especially in roles requiring lots of repetition. Remaining creative is terrific for beating burnout, but what’s more important is fostering innovation.
You can nurture continual innovation by creating a reliable innovation process. Start the innovation process by identifying a core need for evolving a product or project. Then, employ iterative thinking to piece together a process that encourages exploring multiple solutions. Lastly, create an environment around you that welcomes failure so you can continually learn and innovate.
Revamp Your Workspace
Avoiding burnout may just be a matter of revamping your workspace—and doing so regularly. There’s something about a new office space or newly designed home office that triggers motivation.
Look into ways you can revamp your workspace to keep things fresh and uplifting.
For example, you can create a workplace policy that allows pets. Bringing your dog to the office can lighten the mood at work, create a positive atmosphere, and boost your mental health. Although there are many benefits to dogs in the workplace, approach this method with caution: Ensure that everyone is on board with the policy, that you address any safety hazards, and that all dogs are well-behaved and healthy.
Working from home? Revamping your at-home workspace can also help you alleviate burnout. Change your workspace arrangement or decor to help freshen things up. If you currently work in your living room or bedroom, try to separate your office and living space, which can certainly help define your workspace and help you maintain better focus.
Experiment With New Tools
Experimenting with new tools can help reignite your passion for development. It can also streamline particular processes, making it easier for you to do your job. And that, in turn, reduces your job-related stress and your chances of experiencing burnout.
Stay up to date with developer trends. Note any new tools that roll out, and take it upon yourself to experiment with these tools. Find a few that you like and try implementing them in your day-to-day to make things that much more enjoyable.
Find More Balance in Your Work
Finding more balance in your work can help you avoid burnout. Try not to take on more than you can handle. Reducing your workload can make things a lot less overwhelming, which, in turn, improves your productivity.
Also, find ways to take on projects that you like versus doing work for the sake of doing it. Of course, you’ll have to do work that isn’t exciting at times, but fully engaging in your work will help you find the joy in it and also quash the threat of burnout.
Work on a Personal Development Project
Working on a personal project alongside your professional ones can help you restore some balance to your work life. The website development work you do to pay the bills may not be what you genuinely want to do in the development space. This disconnect between your work and personal passions can cause burnout.
Dedicate some of your time to building your own development project to mitigate burnout. Take some time to identify your dream development project and go for it. You may not get paid for it right now, but working on it will help you remember why you started this development career in the first place.
Improve Your Attitude
Your brushes with burnout may be a result of your attitude. To put it another way, a pessimistic attitude toward everything doesn’t help eliminate burnout; it makes it worse. Kicking burnout to the curb starts in your mind.
Change the way you look at things regarding your development career. For instance, instead of viewing a mundane development project as a waste of time, see it as an opportunity to perfect your craft. Or rather than beating yourself up about needing rest, view it as a chance to recharge so you can bring your best effort when it’s time to come back.
Nurture Effective Communication Skills
One reason developers can’t seem to pull themselves out of the depths of burnout is that many don’t know how to effectively communicate. If you’re experiencing burnout, you must be able to communicate with the people you work with, your family, and your friends so they can support you through it.
Study effective communication and implement any tangible tips that can grow your communication skills—for instance, write down what you want to say first to stay on topic. Or practice active listening so you can have a productive conversation about the support you need to get through burnout or avoid it altogether.
Learn to Say No
Learning to say no is incredibly powerful in the fight against burnout. As stated above, you mustn’t take on more than you can handle. The only way to ensure this happens is to say no to projects that drain you—and that goes for people, too.
It’s going to be hard at first if you’re used to saying yes to everything and everyone. So start small and work your way up. For instance, say no to a project you’d usually say yes to once a month, or delegate smaller tasks.
Often, we’re scared of saying no to people or projects; humans are social creatures and generally want to help others. However, learning to say no can set boundaries with both colleagues and clients. These boundaries help you maintain a better working relationship and can help avoid project surprises that increase your stress levels.
Prioritize Caring for Your Holistic Health
Burnout is a symptom of not taking care of yourself. Therefore, you must prioritize caring for your holistic health to have the best chance at avoiding burnout during website development.
“Holistic health” includes your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual state. All must be cared for to ensure you remain motivated, inspired, and willing to put your best foot forward in development.
You can care for your holistic health by:
- Implementing a regular exercise routine
- Improving your emotional wellness and maturity
- Exploring how to construct a spiritual foundation
- Designing a nutrition plan that isn’t restrictive and rigid but manageable and healthy
- Paying attention to your mental health and enlisting the help of a professional when needed
Log Out and Unplug
Lots of developers experience burnout because they’re unable to log out of work each day. If you’re working at an office, your work should stay in the office when you clock out. Choose a time to end each day and log out of your computer entirely if you’re working from home.
It may also be a good idea to unplug from electronics completely when you get home. You’ve been staring at a computer screen all day—don’t keep it up at home. Stay off social media and the internet altogether and instead get into the things you love that don’t require electronics.
If you’re working all the time and never take time off, you’re absolutely going to experience burnout. Working long hours almost every day of the week all year long doesn’t yield energy, engagement, and enthusiasm.
Take some time off from work. If you can take frequent vacations, do it. Even if some of those vacations are “staycations,” it’s better to take them than to not. Each year, block out the weeks you want to take vacation ahead of time to ensure you don’t take on any projects as a freelancer during this time, or so you can request this time off with your boss early on.
Getting rest regularly can be instrumental in avoiding burnout during website development. Frequently, developers find themselves blowing through a 10-hour workday without taking one break. Better yet, they may even find themselves working seven days a week for months at a time.
If you don’t prioritize rest, you’ll slowly slip into low productivity and energy during a project. So make sure you’re taking breaks throughout the day, getting adequate rest at night, and making time to relax regularly.
Avoiding burnout at all costs is crucial to building a successful career as a developer. Implement the tips above to prevent burnout during website development and create a more balanced personal and professional life.