Update March 2021: If you’re feeling any of these burnout symptoms, feel free to reach out to me. Also check on my latest post on how to treat recovery and avoid burnout the way elite athletes try to minimize injury risk.

I wrote this 18 months ago as a parody inspired by some of The Bold Italic’s Sunil Rajaraman’s posts-This Is Your Life In Silicon Valley Two years Later in particular. Like any good parody, sometimes they ring all too true. I was afraid to post this at the time, but now I’m going back through and hitting publish on as many things as possible 😀

You google, “burnout”. Slowly, like confirmation of an injury or flu symptoms as you read down the WebMD list.

  • Chronic fatigue ✅ 💤 ☕ 
  • Insomnia ✅, maybe ✅ ✅ When’s that melatonin supposed to arrive again? *Opens Amazon in a new tab*
  • Forgetfulness/impaired concentration and attention Where was I reading about those exercises about improving concentr… what’d Trump tweet now?
  • Anxiety ✅ ✅ ✅
  • Depression

You close the tab. 11:12a. Time to get back to work. Maybe if you refocus now, you can get that feature out and you’ll feel the stress melt away. No, wait, “Invest in yourself” you remember from that thinly-veiled self-help book, or was it a Medium post, or maybe a tweet? Apple-shift-tab. You should come back to this later, maybe after your meditation. You look through the 42 tabs you have open: man, someone should really fix browser tabs.

2:08p. The chime sounds signaling the end of your meditation. You close Calm. You realize you’re starving because you forgot to eat lunch, but you still have your half-bottle of Soylent in the mini-fridge. You sit back down at your desk. RescueTime greets you, “What have you been doing for the last 15 minutes?” You type in M-E-D-I-T-A-T-I-O-N. It’s time away from work, but it was worth it. You’re going to be better focused now. Besides, after you count the 45 minutes you saved from replacing lunch with Soylent, you came out 30 minutes ahead. You can’t remember what you were doing before so you…Ohhh, push notification! There’s free delivery from UberEats?

7:03p. Maybe you need a vacation. You’re transported to <insert name of place that keeps showing up in your Momentum new tab background or always seems to be at the top of 37 places to visit in <whatever year it is>>. You scream at your significant other for booking a cooking class because you just saw an email from a customer and you NEEDED to work tomorrow. And you shouldn’t be on this vacation anyway. There’s too much to do.

Maybe, maybe just if you finish this, it’ll get you over the hump. Or was it a dip? You add a todo to your Todoist list to go back into Goodreads to find the name of that Seth Godin book your founder friend recommended.