Avoiding Burnout as a Web Developer in 2019

Web developers are particularly prone to burnout. If your to-do list resembles a list of seemingly insurmountable tasks, this can be a mid-stage indicator that burnout is on the horizon.

Burnout is, quite simply, a result of overworking. And if there’s one thing that is common amongst web developers it’s just that.

Web development (and all it entails) can indeed be a highly stressful occupation. To most laypeople, the career seems simple enough. But if there’s one thing that I’m sure all webdevs can unanimously agree on… it would be just how incorrect this is.

Particularly if you’re a freelancer, or are juggling multiple clients or several large projects at once, the stress is most certainly apparent. And if you aren’t careful, this can spiral into a huge issue.

Factor in short deadlines, tight schedules and late nights, things can quickly become out of hand.

Troubleshooting, creative block, and the pressure to be constantly acquiring fresh knowledge of your tools just add further insult to injury.

It’s fairly easy to see how this has the potential to lead to burnout. And fast.

A lot of this is down to the naive mistake of taking on an overambitious workload.

This most often leads to a quick, predictable burnout for most web developers.

One key sign that things are starting to reach this point is when you begin to notice other areas of your life starting to become fragile.

It happens due to the fact that you’ve likely taken on more work than you’re reasonably able to manage at any one time. And not necessarily just in terms of time and availability, but also in terms of pressure and mental capacity.

Take massive note when other areas of your life start to feel as though they’re being negatively impacted by the amount of work-induced stress that you’re putting yourself through.

Admittedly, web developers are particularly more prone to burnout than others who have a profession in computer-related work.

The ability to switch off is fairly crucial to maintaining balance as a web developer. Because of the job’s progressive and fast-paced nature, it can be a challenge to halt thoughts, ideas or the internal troubleshooting that continues in your mind long after the end of your official work day.

But when work begins to spill over into your much-needed private time, meaning that your leisure activities and interpersonal relationships start to suffer, it’s a sign that your work-life balance is off. And if you’re already noticing the correlation, it’s probably quite bad by this point.

An increased fragility in your personal life is a key indicator of burnout. Your focus and priorities aren’t aligned in a way that your personal life can happily co-exist alongside your work.

Additionally, feelings of being overwhelmed with your work, both during the day and afterward, can cause deeper feelings of frustration and negative emotion.

If your to-do list resembles a list of seemingly insurmountable tasks, this can be a mid-stage indicator that burnout is on the horizon.

This is why it’s all the more important to take a deep breather when you start to feel like this.

Don’t make the mistake of attempting to work harder when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

It’s tempting because you likely feel as though working harder will reduce your backlog and clear your task lists, but actually, this has the opposite effect.

Listen to your thoughts, body and the visible effects of what’s going on around you.

It might be time to reschedule some of those upcoming meetings, offload one of two projects, or take a weekend break to reset your mindset and change your approach.

You’ll produce work of a far better quality if you’re able to get the stress under control and intervene before burnout comes to bite you.

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