We often hear a lot about burnout from people in the WordPress community. So what is burnout (in case you’re not sure)? Burnout is the result of excessive demands or stress which results in physical or emotional exhaustion.
5 Tips to Avoid Burnout
Here are my top tips to help negate the onset of burnout when developing with WordPress:
- Have an outlet to clear your mind
- Work on other projects or hobbies
- Keep doing the things which motivate you
- Take some time to enjoy life
- Separate work from home life
1. Have an outlet to clear your mind
Any activity which allows you to focus on something else or gives you the freedom to think will do wonders for your mental health. Whether it’s running or playing guitar, it doesn’t really matter what it is, as long as you enjoy it and do it regularly. Don’t be surprised if some of your best ideas happen during this time too.
2. Work on other projects or hobbies
Let’s be honest, if you’re working on the same thing day in, day out, it’s easy to get bored. But if you occasionally mix it up and work on other projects or hobbies, it will help keep you feeling challenged and fresh. Not to mention the benefits of having fun and applying the lessons you’ve learned along the way.
3. Keep doing the things which motivate you
I’ve become acutely aware of what motivates me as a WordPress plugin developer. Let me share with you what works best for me:
- Following influential WordPress people on Twitter. Hats off to these folks:
- Listening to WordPress podcasts such as Mastermind.fm and ApplyFilters.fm
- Attending WordCamps & WordPress meetups
- Watching WordPress talks on WordPress.tv
- Reading the WPTavern blog
4. Take some time to enjoy life
This is all about “recharging” the batteries as they say. Take some time off work and go on holiday and relax (preferably somewhere without an Internet connection). Put a bar at the top of your website which says you’re on holidays. I can assure you people will understand and your WordPress plugin business will do just fine.
5. Separate work from home life
With people working more and more home these days, it’s getting harder and harder to separate work and home. It can be a challenge to remember to switch off outside of normal business hours.
I’ve heard of the following techniques that people use to put themselves into a work mindset:
- Once they step into the office and close the door
- Once they put on their “work” shoes (i.e. not slippers)
On the other side, remember to maintain a healthy work life balance. There is a public holiday in Australia which celebrates the idea of an 8 hour work day, 8 hours of rest then 8 hours of leisure.
Avoiding burnout requires self-awareness. Identifying burnout early allows you to make some changes that will hopefully keep you fresh and motivated.