There are days when all you want to do is sleep. Do nothing. But then it gets tricky as you made so many commitments in the past that it gets hard to keep up with your own commitments. You consider yourself a man of words and thus you have such high expectations from yourself that even when you are asleep, you end up thinking of things you could be doing instead of sleeping or things that you will do as soon as you wake up.
Late nights followed by early morning work and then a tiring workday at your day-job will exponentially expose you to unhealthy food intake and this, in turn, will bring you one step closer to the burnout.
You are on fire and you don’t know it
The thing with burnouts is that you might be going through one but you do not realize it. There are two reasons for that:
- You are in denial mode. You just don’t want to address the most pressing thing which is your “health” while forcing yourself to focus on work. I have been there and that is why I believe that “forcing” is the apt word here. Somewhere deep down you know you are working less efficiently (on a daily basis) but still you console yourself with sugar-coated lies like you are tired because you slept late the night before. Believe me, it is much more than that!
- You are delusional about you to have unlimited time. You procrastinate taking care of your health. Apparently developing and shipping that one feature request for an offshore client is more important than a healthy spine. You are finding it difficult to focus on the computer screen but still, you calm yourself these bloated motivational quotes about the hustle and no pain no gain.
If you are pursuing a startup or working in one, I guarantee you have these types of posters in your room or your mobile phone wallpaper and every time you see these posters, some sort of fire lit up under your a*s to sacrifice friends and family time to work on your startup (after you have worked on it the entire day). Correct me if I am wrong.
The more “success” I am achieving in my career, the less I am getting fond of these quotes. I know and I truly believe in the “FIRE” you have to “CHANGE THE WORLD” or “DISRUPT THE INDUSTRY” with your product/startup, but do not center your life around these quotes.
This startup culture of never resting, always hustling and being focused all the time is something that I fail to understand now. I am saying this because I was the one not only impressed by this very culture but also preaching it.
And why am I writing this on a tech-based blog? This is because:
- The Burnout is real. Coding -> Coffee -> Coding -> Meetings -> Coffee -> Coding is shit. This is a pressing issue and one that needs to be talked about. This was something that has been going through my mind and soul from quite some time and it became evident that this has to be out here when I saw one of my colleagues collapse in the middle of work-day.
- This is my personal blog so…….you get the gist! ;)
Coming back to the topic — I was taken aback when I witnessed my colleague collapsing in the middle of work-day. He was already ill but still came to the office to meet the deadline. Mind you — he wasn’t forced or asked to come to the office. He volunteered to be present there at the day of project delivery even though he was feeling unwell.
I get it! I get it! I do appreciate the “accountability” he has. But was it necessary? Was a project delivery worth your life? Mine certainly is.
And I am no different. I was like this very person until I developed chronic backache and now it hinders me to do the very job that I prioritized over my health.
Don’t be my colleague. Don’t be stupid like me.
Take care of your health when you can.
“If you want to know the value of one year, just ask a student who failed a course.
If you want to know the value of one month, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.
If you want to know the value of one hour, ask the lovers waiting to meet.
If you want to know the value of one minute, ask the person who just missed the bus.
If you want to know the value of one second, ask the person who just escaped death in a car accident.
And if you want to know the value of one-hundredth of a second, ask the athlete who won a silver medal in the Olympics.”
And if you understand startup’s slang — Startups should raise funds when they don’t need it. It helps them to be in a strong position to use the funds, experiment with it and hold a strong place on the Board of Director’s table negotiating terms.