Hey guys! I’m Sofia, IT-recruiter at KOTELOV. I’ve been around in the tech industry not for so long, but I can say from talking with developers that the tech world can be a bit of a rollercoaster, and burnout and stress can definitely hit hard.

In this article, I’ve gathered some unconventional strategies to help you with the burnout in IT. These insights would be valuable for anyone who wants to avoid waking up one day with an overwhelming desire to never return to work.

Let’s start with some numbers.

In a research report by Yerbo, “The State of Burnout in Tech”, involving over 30,000 IT professionals from 33 countries, reveals that the tech industry is facing a “burnout crisis”.

Here are some key numbers from the study:

– 56% of men and 69% of women can’t relax once their workday is over

– 43% feel disengaged from their work

– 27% don’t see the value in it

– 42% of them are considering quitting their jobs within the next 6 months

But there are effective strategies that can help you find the right balance and keep your enthusiasm alive in your tech career.

Burnout Alert: When Multiple Subtle Signs Persist

Before diving into the strategies, let’s quickly identify the signs of burnout. You may experience any of those symptoms.

There are some obvious ones:

 – Feeling constantly tired

– Reduced productivity

– Loss of motivation

And here are some subtle signs you might want to pay attention to:

– Physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, sleep disturbances

– Procrastination

– Social withdrawal

– Acting impulsively

Experiencing occasional stress and feeling overwhelmed at work is normal, and it can happen to anyone in any profession, including the tech industry.

Burnout is when you feel seriously drained, both physically and mentally, due to prolonged stress. If you’re noticing these signs sticking around, it’s time to take some action.

If you’re curious whether you might have a burnout – check out this link here.

What can you do: non-obvious strategies

You’ve probably heard about some well-known strategies like setting boundaries, changing the workplace, trying meditation, hitting the gym, and eating your veggies. And yes, those are all fantastic and can work wonders.

However, let’s take a look at some other strategies to shield yourself from burnout.

1. Gamify your work

Gamification isn’t just for video games; it can be a powerful tool to stay engaged in your work. Create your own point system for completing tasks, set challenges, and reward yourself for reaching milestones. The competitive spirit can keep you motivated and make work feel like play.

Simple example: for each accomplished task you give yourself 10 points, if you get 200 points at the end of the week – treat yourself with a gaming session or a beer 🙂

2. Disconnect with purpose

I know guys who set specific tech-free hours from 8 pm to 10 pm each evening. During this time, they turn off work-related notifications but remain reachable for critical issues. That way they can relax, enjoy dinner with family, and recharge.

So designate certain hours or days for tech-free zones. This way, you can still be reachable in case of emergencies but have structured breaks from screens for mental rejuvenation.

3. Switch Up Your Environment

A change of scenery can help! If you have the freedom, work from different locations—coffee shops, parks, co-working spaces. Why does this work? Well, for starters, it shakes up the monotony that can lead to burnout. New surroundings can reignite your creative spark and help you tackle challenges with a fresh perspective.

I find this strategy super helpful. So, the next time you’re feeling a bit stagnant, pack up your laptop, head to the nearest coffee shop, or perhaps find a cozy corner in the library.

4. Use Time Management Tools

  • Use time management tools like the Eisenhower Matrix to prioritize tasks and avoid work overload. By sorting your tasks this way, you can see what needs your immediate attention and what take a break for a bit.
  • Or the Pomodoro Technique, which is about working in short, focused bursts, usually 25 minutes, followed by a quick 5-minute breather. After four of these, you take a longer break (15-30 minutes). This technique keeps you sharp and prevents burnout because it breaks your work into manageable chunks. Check this pomodoro timer out 🙂

5. Tech Conferences and Meetups

Attend tech conferences and local meetups to network with peers, gain fresh perspectives, and reignite your enthusiasm for IT development. While the daily grind can sometimes feel isolating and monotonous, these events serve as a breath of fresh air.

6. The Passion Project Day

Designate a specific day each month to work on a personal tech project you’re passionate about. It can be coding a fun app or experimenting with a new programming language. Nurturing your tech passion is a fantastic stress-reliever.

It’s all about prioritizing your health

The tech industry may throw its fair share of challenges at you, but with these strategies, you can try to keep burnout at bay and ensure your tech career remains a journey worth embarking on. Remember, it’s all about working smarter, not harder, and ensuring that every day you’re prioritizing your mental and physical health.

What strategies did you find helpful? Share in the comments the ones that help you and the one you already use in your life.