How to Manage Stress and BurnoutBy: Jennifer Walkup
Working in the IT field can often be one of the most stressful professions in the market. Whether you are in the development, implementation or the consulting side of the business; whether you are a freelancer, an employee or a business owner, there are times the stress might get overwhelming and you might feel burnt-out. When we lose balance, we get stressed, and every day becomes a continuous challenge. In this article, we have collected the best tips to manage stress from our top IT professionals.
But before we discuss these tips, we need to differentiate between a challenging day and a tough period, which we call burnout and real stress. Burnout might be the result of overworking for a specific time to finish a project or deal with a temporary increase in workload. Real stress is when you are under pressure on a regular basis. Real stress might affect your health and cause chronic symptoms as well as psychological turbulence.
Now for the tips to best manage stress in the IT field:
- ASSESS IF YOU ARE IN RIGHT PROFESSION
People have many skills and are interested in many things. We might choose our profession based on our passion, how we were programmed when young, or in some cases for the expected monetary reward. Whatever the reason(s) behind your decision to enter this profession, you should assess what is required of you and if you can cope with the daily demands of the job.
- GET MOTIVATED AGAIN
We sometimes feel stressed because of lack of motivation. Lacking motivation is like trying to drive a car with an empty tank. If you feel that you have lost your motivation, take time to try and find the root cause of the loss and deal with it. Finding ways to get your motivation back will get you back on track.
- ACCEPT THE DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF YOUR WORK
You might like writing code more than troubleshooting, but the latter might be an integral part of your work, as it is often important to test your own work to find any problems. In times when you’re stuck in a task you don’t like much, remind yourself that handling unpleasant tasks and assignments is part of the package. You need to increase your resilience to pass through those tough days and tasks. The sooner you accept it, the less stress it will bring you
- BUILD YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM
You need a strong and efficient support system to help you cope with stressful situations and bad days. Assess your personal life and eliminate as much negativity as you can. In your professional life, find mentors and advisors who can guide you and offer sound advice when needed.
- DEVELOP YOUR PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS
Poor problem-solving skills will make challenging situations or hard decisions a lot more difficult to handle. However, the good news is that you can develop efficient problem-solving skills by practice and following a structured process. The process starts with understanding the problem, gathering information, considering different solutions and finally selecting the best solution based on available information.