Some people say I'm a workaholic...
I often do whatever it takes to get a project done or a client site shipped on time - at times, this involves a schedule full of 12-hour days, too-early meetings, or copious quantities of caffeine.
It's not uncommon to see me online well past 11pm, only to see me still start work at 7 the next day.
Ironically, I'm usually the one telling my coworkers to call it a night and take a break.
Am I Burned Out?
When I pull more than one 10-hour day in a week, I feel pretty much useless. I'm less jovial in meetings, more abrupt over email, and just generally slower when it comes to output and productivity.
I can tell when I'm approaching burnout. I feel myself moving slower. I feel myself thinking slower. It's almost as frustrating as whatever it was that got me in that position in the first place.
Can you tell when you're reaching burnout?
When I detect burnout, I stop. I take a break. I put work out of my head for a few hours (or days) and take some "me" time to recover.
I have things I do every day to help recover a bit for the next day. Yes, every single day.
I read in the evenings before bed. I talk to my wife about things that bother me (and her) and we pray about them together. I write a blog post in the morning.
I also have things I do each week to help keep me going. One night a week, I have a standing appointment with some of my best friends - and we play board games.
Taking time to be away from work, with people I care about, doing something that lets my brain heal from the onslaught it receives during the day is therapeutic.
I highly recommend that you also come up with daily/weekly/monthly relaxation techniques, too. It will keep you fresh and help keep things going.