Burnt out and feeling awful

I’m not sure what’s wrong with me.

I go through periods where I’m able to crank out lots of really good code, and periods when I’m… Well, like this. Just totally burnt out, lethargic, and feeling kinda disconnected from everything.

In addition to programming, I also do a decent amount of art for a game I’m developing in my off time. I put together a few enemy designs that I’m actually really happy with over the past week or so, but as of the past few days I haven’t been able to draw a single thing I’m happy with. The same is true with my programming… I’m just stuck in a rut and totally unable to even write a single line I’m happy with and just totally lose my focus and erase it and try again. Really, that’s the same thing I’m doing with my art as well.

When I feel like this, I really wonder if I have some kind of ADHD problem, but it doesn’t seem to stay forever. That said, when I do feel like this, I end up in constant fear that I’m going to lose my job and have to go back to some crappy minimum wage place and just generally drive myself into a hole.

Reading around on this site, it’s clear I’m not the only person that feels this way. I just don’t know how to handle these lulls at all.

I’ve definitely felt the same way, maybe once every couple months. After working on a huge project at work, I felt burnout for several weeks. Similar to you, I have side work to do in my “free time”. I found that, even though I enjoy that work, putting off any non-essential work (no deadlines, clients checking in, etc.) for a week or two and just trying to relax in the evenings (watch netflix, read a book, things I don’t normally get to do) helped me out because I actually miss work when I don’t do it. Limiting myself to the 40 hours required of me for a bit helped me regain a little mojo. I know it doesn’t work for everyone, and I’m certainly not in a perfect place now, but I am better able to write consistently good code at work and have slowly reincorporated my side projects.

Hi Bstone89,

I think the mind and emotions can be a massive deal. I think you have to have a program to deal with mental health. Making sure you take regular breaks. I can’t recommend mindfulness meditation enough as well.

The problem with modern society is that all of us wish for situations to be one way and there is always a possibility (however small) that they will be another way. This is the basis for anxiety and stress. To truly be free of the worry you really have to psychologically accept the possibility of losing the job. This is just to be at total peace, I am sure you will keep the job!!

You are where your thoughts take you. So I think there are so many opportunities in life that if one doesn’t work out, then it is possible to succeed in another avenue.

I hope you achieve your dreams.