Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




How to beat lethargy?

Since a couple of months I cannot concentrate on my work.  Though I set high standards for myself, I find it increasingly hard to meet them.  I want to learn a lot of stuff in my domain but not able do anything about it though I have all the necessarty things (Work environment, pay etc.,).  Any of you have faced these problems?  How to overcome this?  Any tips?

burntout
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

I saw a movie call fight club.. it suggested something that didn't seem to help.

Anonymous
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Diet Mountain Dew and sugar doughnuts.

Mitch & Murray (from downtown)
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Take a few days of vacation.

If you can't take a few days of vacation, take just one day.

For me, a saturday or a sunday at a mountain resort will work wonders. I go there early in the day, and leave late in the evening. Since I don't sleep there, I carry very little with me.

Also, when taking a vacation, make sure you do what YOU want to do in order to relax, not what others (girlfriend, friends, etc) want.

Sometimes, I relax perfectly by just staying in bed and reading a good novel.

Also, sports are good for burnout, but only if you do a sport that relaxes you.

For example, I love to go swiming or skiing, but I hate to play football or lift weights.

The key is to do something YOU want to do, which relaxes you, etc.

Enesco
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

> Diet Mountain Dew and sugar doughnuts.

Oh, yes, why don't you recommend him intravenous caffeine and cocaine?!

:-(

Enesco
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Substitute apathy for lethargy. You won't get anymore done, but it won't matter anymore ... :)

sgf
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Ephedrine :)

Oh wait .. that was suggested before.

Salad Cream.

jedidjab79
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Law School.

Philo

Philo
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

A couple solutions:

1. Stop fighting yourself.  You're burned out because your prior state was unsustainable.  Take a few days (weeks) off and figure out what isn't right in your lifestyle.  Often, it's not what you're doing, but what you're not doing.  Rebalance your life.  Get a new girlfriend, spend time with a new set of people, or just switch projects if your life spins around your work.

2. Get really, really hammered.  Sometimes, you just need a night of debauchery and sin, followed by a few days of relaxation from the remaining alcohol in your system. 

Hit vegas, get a room, put out about a thousand dollars in cash in your wallet and leave all the credit cards & other stuff in the room.  Have a friend to call in case you wake up in jail.  I'm really not joking about this.  It amounts to resetting the brain.  One must make up one's own mind about getting hookers, but notice I did use the plural form...

If you notice some of your coworkers having the same problem, try and set up something more systematic.  For example, weekly cockfights or poker.

3.  Reinvent yourself.  Act like someone else, someone who's life you'd rather live.  Some of the attributes of that person you're playing will fall back into you if they rebalance you properly.

4.  Cut out the drains.  You're going to have people around you who bring you down.  They may be nice, well-meaning people, but they can still drain the life force out of you.  Simply start spending less time with them.  Seek out people whose company you enjoy.  When considering people's feelings, remember your own.

I burned out real hard a couple of years ago.  Real hard.  Autotermination hard.  It took me a month of backpacking in Europe, a semester of heavily-intoxicated socializing, and a good girlfriend to bring my life back into balance.  The best advice I can give is to avoid making giant leaps (leaving your job, wife, industry, etc), but don't be afraid of significantly restructuring your life.  Again, balance.

H. Lally Singh
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

"I'm really not joking about this.  It amounts to resetting the brain."

To infancy, if you're not careful.

Philo

Philo
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Where do you guys find these sorts of jobs, where you can be lethargic for a while or, according to another thread, you've got weeks or months to kill between projects?

.
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

When I start zoning out at work, I'll crawl under my desk and rest / nap for 20 or 30 minutes ... it really does help clear my head ...

Alyosha`
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Drink hot water...

apw
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Read the motication posters above.

"They didn't die so you could dress as a vampire"

I like that one.

nat ersoz
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

If your boss won't let you take a few days/weeks off *so that you can get more work done*, you need to find a new boss.

As others have written, it looks like the original poster needs a fresh perspective.  The (arguably) healthiest way to do this is to take some time off and do something completely different.  Note that this can be as simple as a few days in a hotel a few hours away.  I did this after I lost my last job, and it was a wonderful break.

The Pedant, Brent P. Newhall
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

I'm currently in "burnout recovery" and here's what I'm doing:

1. Stress reduction.  Stress is a fear response: it's an internal response to external events, situations and people.  Figuring out what stresses me out, what I'm thinking (and the beliefs behind the thoughts), and how to think/believe differently, is crucial.

2. Stress management.  This means doing things that are relaxing and enjoyable -- that reduce my stress -- and not doing things that will increase my stress.

3. Not trying to do too much "work" -- whether it's at the office or at home.  This is a corollary of #2, but worth mentioning on its own.

4. Spending time with positive, enthusiastic, happy people.  Negative people will drag you down into their misery.

5. Doing things that are personally fulfilling and rewarding.  Both at the office and at home.

6. Acting in accordance with personal beliefs about what is best/right for me.

It's an ongoing process, and it takes time and effort.  But I'm doing much better now than I was three months ago.

Recovering Burnout Victim
Tuesday, September 30, 2003


stop reading these posts. reading gets you nowhere. stand up in this minute and do something, something really stupid.

try to run 10 miles, start 1 minute from now ... tell us when you're back

na
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

10 miles = about 16 KM!

16 kilometers!!! You want me dead?!

Who can run 10 miles, other than a superathlete??!!

I certainly can't. I could never run 10 miles.

Maybe 1 mile is ok!

Jack "Destruction" Ken
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

I run 8 miles every day. And I SMOKE. It isn't that hard, you just have to build up to that point.

rz
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

"I run 8 miles every day. And I SMOKE. It isn't that hard, you just have to build up to that point."

Gee... I don't think I could do that. Just the thought of smoking a whole cigarette makes me nauseous.

Fernanda Stickpot
Wednesday, October 01, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home