This post is one of a series in preparation for the Burnout core conversation at Drupalcon London. The first post discussed what burnout is; this one talks about what individuals can do about burnout, and the final two will discuss what about burnout is distinctive to the Drupal community, and what the Drupal community can do to deal with burnout. Also, please see Arianek's excellent post about burnout
There are dozens, even hundreds of books addressing individuals and burnout. I was amazed how many of them are aimed squarely at church members, pastors, and other caring professionals. Interestingly enough, the Drupal community can be a bit like many churches: plenty of needy people, lots of ideas, an amazing amount of work that "ought" to be done, and most of it done by volunteers or vastly overloaded professionals. These books have pretty uniform advice to the individual for dealing with burnout, and of course it's what you already know:
- Don't just work all the time, regardless of the load. Enforce your work hours.
- Prioritize. Take on reasonable obligations that you can meet.
- Take time off.
- Develop and love hobbies besides Drupal.
From Scientific American Mind1:
1. Budget your physical resources. Eat wholesome foods at mealtimes. Exercise regularly. Get enough sleep.
2. Workaholics must aim for equilibrium between tension and relaxation. "Find your work-life balance".
3. Cultivate close social contacts. Spending time with friends, family, or even colleagues at work protects against excessive stress.
4. So Important: The decisive step must be made first in your head: "As early as possible in your career, you must absorb the idea that physical and mental health are at least as important as anything you can do seeking success at work".
Pretty easy sounding, huh?
Next time we'll talk about things from an organizational perspective: what is distinctive about Drupal and burnout?