Exploring Mini Code Detoxes

Everyone feels a little burnt out at whatever job they do. That job can be as simple and seemingly serene as dog watching or perhaps it is a fast paced, none stop rocket ride on Wallstreet. Jobs exist, and therefore burnout exists. It may be the truth but burnouts in themselves can be managed and even curtailed to where they are a small blip on the career radar.

As a disclaimer for going forward: A lot of examples that will be used will surround the world of programming. However, the tiny techniques mentioned throughout can be used for any profession... even the dog walkers.

Programmers, often times find themselves riding the seemingly unending wave of burnouts. They will work heads down on a project and run themselves absolutely ragged until they find some light at the end of a tunnel. Afterwards, they will find a small beach somewhere, detox for a week, rince, and repeat. While this cycle may seem common and even somewhat healthy there are a few problems.

Programmers are usually too burnt out before the end of the project to be really effective without a detox. Many projects have wavering or changing deadlines and scope, leading to an unknown time left on the project before a break can occur. Another common problem is that when projects do come to an end, another one begins before the first one wraps up. This leaves the programmer with no time for a vacation. These examples are really why this type of stress management really fails. Instead of working for prolonged amount of times with a larger detox at the end, we should look to take many small, and somewhat brief "mini vacations" during the course of the project.