Been there and there is no easy answer. Personally, I’ve tried switching jobs, doing new hobbies on a side but it was not enough. I’ve burned out much deeper than 1-month vacation or a new job, doing essentially the same, could fix. In the end, my whole life needed changing. Now I’ve cut my costs a lot, work a lot more on my own projects, take on freelance work, and spend A LOT of time doing other shit that I want to do. It feels crazily unproductive at times and I’m missing out on a lot of money and career improvements. But I feel fucking alive. I think to get out of the rut, you actually need to do significant changes that feel scary but those are the only ones that will shake you and get you out of the rut. It’s actually really simple but also not easy. In a sense, we crave for that rut and familiarity of what the next day brings but that’s also what kills us. Need to shake up things periodically, try to discover other parts of yourself you didn’t know or forgot about. That will do the job.
Make a change. Something significant enough to be noticeable. Change your job. Change your relationship. Change the city where you live. Change your primary hobby. Change your friends. Go back to school or start a business. Go somewhere you've never been before, the further away the better. You don't have to (and probably shouldn't) do all of these, but you should probably do at least one of them. And changing your job seems to be one of the more effective and easiest ones, in my experience, and may naturally facilitate a few other changes as well. Also take a break before the change happens, if you can. Like tell a new job you'll be available to start two weeks after you quit the other job (don't word it like that, just say you'll be available to start like 4 weeks after accepting a job offer). You probably could use at least a couple of weeks, if not more, to not have to think about code.
There's an old Simpsons quote that pops into my head fairly often. The hippie parents of a young Ned Flanders can't figure out how to get his behavior under control and tell a therapist, "We've tried nothin', and we're all out of ideas". It's actually a pretty common pattern to observe, where someone is really upset about an issue, but doesn't try anything to improve it. I think everyone falls into this trap at times, to varying degrees. Doing something about a problem, even if you aren't sure the best path, usually helps you feel better immediately and can often lead to a good solution sooner or later.
Don't worry about the grass on the other side of the fence. Watering your own lawn is often better than moving on. My advice on how to dig yourself out of a rut - Spend a week focusing on making your loved ones' lives as happy and easy as possible. Removing a stressor from someone else's life will make you feel better about your own stressors. Making someone smile on the outside will make you smile on the inside.
By change friends, I just mean start going to meetups and meet some new people, find a couple other people you might like hanging out with. They can introduce you to new experiences that way. I've been doing that myself recently. Went to a dinner meetup with 8 people I've never met before just last Friday night, and a meetup at an Oktoberfest meetup with mostly new faces the week before that. And went back to a book club meetup I hadn't gone to since before the pandemic the week before that (and read a book I'd been meaning to read for a long time for it). Changing which hobby you focus on isn't that hard either, unless you're trying expensive hobbies, but even then there's usually cheap ways you can experience them, like take a few lessons, or watch Youtube videos about it. But for me this wouldn't be enough, I already bounce around from hobby to hobby anyway. For someone who had only had one main hobby focus for most of their life though, or doesn't really have any hobbies outside of work, this could be enough to get them out of a rut. Again these are ideas for changes and I only suggested changing one of them, not all of them. Some changes will be more suitable for someone based on their current situation than others. And really it doesn't even have to be these, they were just ideas. The main message was just 'Change something significant enough that you'll notice it'. Like changing your breakfast cereal is likely not enough to get yourself out of a rut in life. But working out three times a week for six months and you start feeling better and healthier? That could be enough.
i was in a similar spot. did not want to do anything, i felt useless, it was terrible and like i was in the bottom of a hole with no way out. i found myself in tears often. i tried exercising (i run everyday) and being more active but it was still not clicking. after much deliberation, i talked to my doctor and i got on antidepressants, SSRI's. i did not want to take them but i was willing to try anything because i could imagine ending my life, something that was profound and pretty eye opening when i discussed it with a third party. i took them for 6 months and weaned off of them once i noticed they had gripped my personality in a weird way and were starting to turn me into a different being: someone who didn't want to end their life, but someone who was finding very little pleasure in life. maybe try LSD, it works wonders when you want to change your mind, but you have to respect it and work with a therapist/sitter who can help guide you. its amazing what your mind can do. someone told me if i could make it through my rut, then i could emerge on the other side, stronger than ever. they were right. in and through, it's the only way. put on a kettle and make some tea for your depression, sit down with it and talk to it, understand it, don't force it out. in and through. it's the only way. you can do it. don't give up.
amozoss 1 day ago | flag| favorite | prev | next [–] Been in a rut and burned out. Here's what has been helping 1. Exercise, keeps my energy up. 2. Wake up at the same time (helps me fall asleep at night) 3. Make a plan the night before for 1 thing I want to accomplish the next day. I also found the book Feeling Good by David D. Burns MD helpful. He has several ways to retrain your inner voice to recognize when you're self sabotaging.
1. Exercise, keeps my energy up. 2. Wake up at the same time (helps me fall asleep at night) 3. Make a plan the night before for 1 thing I want to accomplish the next day. I also found the book Feeling Good by David D. Burns MD helpful. He has several ways to retrain your inner voice to recognize when you're self sabotaging.
Recognizing that you are in a rut is a start. You’re already there. Some time ago I realized that there is a long-term rhythm and cadence to my life. The ruts are part of that. I learned to look for signs that show that I am getting into a rut, or out of one. I do things to help myself get out of a rut. At the same time I realize that this is not fully under my control. I give myself room, and am patient. First thing I do is look for objective causes. Often these are things that are out of my control. Health issues of family and friends. Political situation. War. Others are more under my control. These are usually the basics: diet, sleep, exercise, and social connection. I try to affect the things under my control. It takes significant effort, but it usually helps. For the things I can not control I make sure to notice when the issues pass. I make a concrete mental note to no longer let it affect me, since the thing changed. And also, I try to accept the things I can’t change, recognizing that they will affect me nonetheless. This also seems to help. No silver bullets. Key thing is to make sure the rut does not become self-reinforcing. Self-love and acceptance are a part of this.
1. Figure out your goals / objectives / musts / things you want and write them down (1-3 things). 2. Write down things that you dislike about your current situation (environment? job? a teammate? a spouse? whatever). 3. Write down tasks you can do starting today to begin chipping away at #2 and lead you closer to something from #1.
I've been in this rut for a while. For me? the solution was getting GPT-4 to start all my code, it's solved my "slow/cold start" problem. Once I have the initial code generated for my problem, editing it has proven to be far more effective for me to continue being productive.
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