Apr 3, 2023

Don't Ship Fast

I recently read this comment on Hacker News, which resonated with me. It's exactly what happened to me, and the texts below explain more of why this matters so much.

I don't ship personal projects fast anymore, due to subconscious factors I'm still struggling to control.

I learned this week that "occupational burnout" [1] often results in the brain developing a trauma response to the idea of returning to the same job/tasks, which is why people will sometimes entirely switch careers. It absolutely is the brain trying to protect itself.
Not all forms of burnout results in trauma responses, but they all require extended recovery. Burnout is preventable, but once it has been reached, the damage has been done and rest is required. No joke: 3-6 months is the usual recovery time.
Paths to occupational burnout: - No mental rest from work. "Taking it home with you." Often skipping breaks to keep focused. - Jobs that require high amounts of mental processing for long periods (customer service, development, troubleshooting, multitasking, urgent-response).
"Brown out" is the stage when you're still capable of functioning in spurts, but your brain/body is sending warning signs (that we have been taught to ignore).

The title of this post was clickbait. It should be "Don't Ship Too Fast".

Here's the message: take care of yourself, because after extended occupational burnout, you won't ever be the same.