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Eleftheria Batsou
Eleftheria Batsou

Posted on • Originally published at

How to prevent a developer's burnout?

Burnout is a real thing! A few days ago I asked on Twitter how you prevent it and I have to admit I got some great ideas and some tips I didn't think of!

How do you prevent #softwaredeveloper burnout?😳#DEVCommunity

β€” Eleftheria Batsou (@batsouelef ) April 27, 2021

Burn-out is defined in ICD-11 as follows:

β€œBurn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:

  • feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
  • increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job; and
  • reduced professional efficacy.

Burn-out refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and** should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life**.”

Here are a few of the things you can do to prevent it:

πŸ˜‰ By far the most common answer was: Take Breaks!

Take a stroll in the garden. Smell some roses. Relax. The world is not running away. Look at the night sky and ponder.

You need to have something in your life that is valuable and you want to protect. For me that's my family and hobbies, but everyone needs to find that out for themselves.

Tips and activities

  • Ask for help.
  • Don't try to fix everything; not everything is your responsibility.
  • Be adamant and consistent about your boundaries.
  • Set realistic expectations.
  • Don’t feel pressured to work more than your job requires.
  • Aim for a healthy lifestyle.
  • Find hobbies that you can look forward to and find happiness in when you’re not working on software development.
  • Make a conscious decision to balance work.
  • Practicing mindfulness/meditation/ yoga.
  • Reading books / Listening to audiobooks.
  • Spending time with friends.
  • Be in touch with nature, go to waterfalls, parks, the countryside.
  • Keep a healthy work schedule.
  • Learn to say NO.
  • Building lego.
  • Building things with your hands.
  • Gardening on the backyard.
  • If Vitamin D gets low, will most likely result in an anxious/depressed person. Sunlight through glass doesn't work, so you really do need to be outside during daylight hours. 20 mins minimum.
  • Have "no screen" time.
  • Having a REAL-WORLD hobby. For this reason, I don't recommend video games (though I know that many developers play after labor day). Just need some rest from these hellish machines.
  • Lifting weights/cardio, stretching.
  • Doing the chores.
  • Drawing.
  • Sleep well! / Take short naps!
  • Solve basic math problems/do puzzles (check the method here).

Prioritize your health; eat well, rest well, take breaks, get a new hobby. Life is not 24/7 development & coding.

One way to avoid it yourself is to help others avoid it.

Help others where you can. Encourage your teammates to take breaks and get sleep. Build excellent knowledge to make learning simple. Make routine tasks easy - if not automated. Your team will help you back when you need it.



Use the word "burnout" only according to the definition provided at the top of the article. Maybe you feel stressed or tired, this doesn't mean you have been burned-out. If things are not working well for you you could always ask for professional help. I hope these tips can help you. Stay safe.

Take mental health days.


Thank you everyone for participating in Twitter :)

If you want to take part in these questions make sure to follow me on Twitter or Instagram.

πŸ‘‹Hello, I'm Eleftheria, a developer, public speaker, and chocolate lover.

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