“BurningBack” from a burnout

I’m writing this from my own experience and I believe that by sharing we can help each other learn faster. You can just add a comment or write your own on Medium. I’ll share what you write.

Usually, my burn out lasts for a couple of days. Here’s what I’ve discovered in the last weeks.

Stage 1 — The ramp up

I usually enjoy this part, it gets you focused and deliver a lot in a short period of time.

I found that it is better to work in stages — rough draft + researchreview better draft + consolidate the research reviewpartially polishedreviewfinal touchesdone.

In stage 1 the focus is on delivering maximum quality.

Stage 2 — Climax

This is where it gets intense and you feel the pressure.

Sometimes this part is fun. This happens when I keep a balance between the pressure and expectations. But the more intense it is, the more burned you are at the end.

Here it’s a race: I have to make decisions. The focus is not on quality anymore, but it is all about getting there on time in the best possible form.

Here I joggle with two things — time (which I can extend long into the night) and quality.

Stage 3 — The Meltdown

This is where the next days I feel empty like in a void.

The more intense stage 2 is, the emptier I feel at the end. No ideas flowing, out of focus, is like your brain is in the middle of a void.

Stage 4 — The recovery

I found that having a fun weekend after the deliver it energizes you back. Every Monday I get back full of ideas and energy. Which is a sharp contrast compared to getting back right after an intense period.

Conclusion

If I manage to keep things under control in Stage 1 there is no visible burnout. If things get really intense in Stage 2 the best fix is a full stop (aka weekend) otherwise I feel like a zombie. I’m there physically but my brain is in a void.
If you have any other ideas please share.

You can always get in touch with me on twitter @CatalinSerban

Thanks,
See you next time.

Catalin