Avoid burnout in IT
This month’s t-sql Tuesday is hosted by James McGillivray (b|t) and he says:
Breaks are critical for our mental health. Write a post about relaxation techniques, dream destinations, vacation plans or anything else relating to taking a break for your own mental health.
Covid-19 WFH burnout
When we were first locked down in our homes in 2020, due to the first wave of Coronavirus, I felt like there was not much to do other than work. Football was cancelled, my kids activities were cancelled, we couldn’t go to the pubs or restaurants. So I worked. Extra hours were available to me and I just did them, often at my desk from 8-8. I had a small spare bedroom office which suited me fine when I worked from home 1 day a week, but it wasn’t ideal for spending so much time in.
I don’t know if I reached burnout but I know I was a bit fatigued. Other than to work as it was paying the bills, I had no appetite to do much else online. Friends and family were meeting by zoom and I didn’t feel like I wanted to join in. My own blogging productivity mostly stopped. I had been wanting to create some training content and I just couldn’t face it. I had an expensive mountain bike gathering dust because I just didn’t want to go outside.
Fast forward to September and we moved house. I moved to a larger house with a dedicated garage/office. I know I’m incredibly lucky to be able to do this but it also allowed me one more thing, my own pool table. I’ve wanted one forever, actually I would have loved a snooker table but I couldn’t squeeze one into the space.
My short term escape to avoid burnout in IT
When I’m taking a break, I like to knock a few balls around on the pool table. Having something to do in my own house has been a godsend with other facilities constantly being shut down to prevent the spread of covid-19. It’s great to have the option to do this at home.
I’ve made it one of my 2021 goals to take 28 days holiday in a warm climate this year. We have an extended family holiday booked for Florida at the end of June. I don’t know if this will happen but I hope it does. I’d also like to spend two other single weeks away somewhere like Tenerife. Having these planned will break up the year and motivate me to work hard the rest of the time.
My wife and son went to Tenerife last January with my sister-in-law and niece. I could have gone but we knew nothing of coronavirus at the time and I thought I would just work to bring in some money, since I was on a short term contract. I was going to take a break in March and also planned on going to London and Lingen for SQLBits and DataGrillen during the year. Missing that trip was my biggest regret of 2019 because I ended up going nowhere.
Even if you can’t go anywhere, it’s still worth taking time off work to help avoid burnout in IT. I just hope this year that I do get to enjoy some sunshine with my family and friends.