The Burnout Struggle is Real

Culture · 2 mai 2023

I burned out at work last year.

I am someone who wears my heart on my sleeve and I want to be vulnerable on this platform with my experience. The burnout was real.

I spent the last two months of 2022 working to the bone to deliver the busiest but shortest quarter of the year.

After experiencing extreme anxiety, not being able to get quality sleep, and losing motivation to spend time with friends and family (I even skipped organizing anything for my birthday), I decided to go to therapy to get help.

Here’s what I learned about myself:

  • I thought I was being helpful (I wasn’t - I dropped the ball on some of my other projects)

  • I wanted to prove that I was a valuable member of the team (I was still valuable to the team regardless of the extra projects I took on)

  • I thought that I could do it all (There was no way for my team to do it all either and my team’s morale suffered because of it)

Here are ways I am learning to manage my workload and to help rebuild my team’s morale:

  • Communicating trade-offs with new project asks coming in

  • Reevaluating my workload at the beginning of each week

  • Being courageous in asking for help from my leaders and setting boundaries with my capacity

As we dive head-first into what seems like the busiest January already with smaller teams and reduced budgets while expected to deliver growth, let’s find ways together to manage our health and prioritize it rigorously, the same way we rigorously prioritize what features to build for our customers.

Airplane safety demonstrations say it best: “Put on your oxygen mask first before helping others.”

Republished from a LinkedIn post

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Colin Li
Product Manager
Colin is passionate about creating personalized and contextual online experiences. When not building digital products, you can find him on a public tennis court training to be the next Grand Slam champion.