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.