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May 18, 2022

Mental Health: How to fight burnout while working in tech

The fast pace of the tech industry can exacerbate mental health problems for designers, developers, entrepreneurs and anyone who works there. Let’s look at ideas on how to fight burnout while working in tech, especially during the Holiday Season.
Toby Oliver
Toby Oliver

Burnout doesn't care about your level of experience, what role you play in the company or what title you hold. Burnout is just simply another part of the challenge that we face as designers, developers or tech entrepreneurs. If not dealt with correctly, burnout can have a drastic effect on your mental health and creativity and growth as a professional. 

As we all know, tech is a stressful environment often marked by professionals who work incredibly long hours to meet tight deadlines. The pressure to be creative is high, and expectations from leadership, clients, and personal ambitions feed into the daily stress tech workers are challenged with.  

Plus, the end of the year and the whole Holiday Season may add an extra source of pressure that makes December a really tough month for many of us. At Bravo Studio, we’ve gathered some ideas on how to fight burnout and improve our mental health during the Holiday Season.

Diversify what you’re working on

To ensure you can stay fresh you need to change things up from time to time. If you work for a company, ask if you can work on another project or join another team. If you are a freelancer, consider outsourcing a few projects for a while to allow you to focus on something new. Diversifying what you’re working on, doesn't just keep you motivated, but it also allows you to challenge yourself and interrupt the burnout fatigue. 

Schedule time away from your desk

Schedule time to step away from your work every single day. There’s a reason that “lunch hour” is a thing. It gives you time to take a break from what you are working on, refresh and come back to it with new energy. Get in the habit of blocking off at least one hour each day and do something that will make the second part of the work day less of a drag:

  • Take a walk
  • Go to the gym
  • Meet a friend
  • Read or listen to a book
  • Watch a movie 

Invest some extra time on a side project

Having a side project is a great way to stay motivated. It doesn’t need to be huge, it doesn’t need to mean extra cash and it doesn’t necessarily need to be related to tech. It just needs to be something nice for you to do. Something that makes you happy. You can try: 

  • Working on a photo project
  • Participating in hackathons or design challenges
  • Learning to use a new (no code? 😏) tool
  • Organising a fun event
  • Watching all the movies from a Letterboxd list 
  • Publishing a fanzine
  • Playing a team sport

Mix up tech tasks

Don’t get caught in a monotonous work routine. Even though tech projects can solve different problems, there are parts of the process that can get a bit boring. Try to mix and match tasks throughout the day or week and avoid getting bored. 

Get more sleep and eat well 

When you don’t get the proper sleep it’s hard to rationalise things and you’ll simply find your day far less productive. The same happens when you are sitting around eating junk food for days just to finish a project. Take some time to cook and don’t push your sleeping hours to the limit. Tasks can take a lot longer when you are tired than when you are fresh. 

Ask for help! 

In any project, no man is an island. Rely on your team and colleagues' empathy and encouragement. End of year burnout is something others might also be feeling so talk to someone you trust and tell them how you are feeling. It will take a burden off your chest. 

Browse through these links for more inspiration and advice! 

Follow these tips, talk to people and remember you are not alone. The End of the Year is usually a tough time. At Bravo Studio we encourage our team and all the Bravistas out there to take some time to rest, spend time with your loved ones and recharge energy for 2022 that is right around the corner! 

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