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Day 5 - Burning the Candle at Both Ends...with Napalm

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Time travel is an alluring concept, isn’t it? Change your fate, prevent disaster, or give yourself a second chance… all can be enticing ideas. If I was granted one opportunity to have a conversation with my past self, my gut reaction would be to say something silly such as “hold on to that hard drive full of Bitcoin,” or “stay away from spiced rum,” or maybe “that change you’ll make to the network on June 6th, 2017, is going to break everything.” Humor aside, what would I say if a magical wizard appeared and gave me the opportunity to travel back in time and provide myself some advice?

Given a choice? Nothing.

I’ve never been a fan of changing or dwelling on the past. Maybe it’s the millennial in me (hush, you) but living in the moment is much more interesting. Perhaps it’s because I’ve never experienced true disaster, something I count as a blessing every day, or perhaps I’m just a pessimist. Some folks might try to correct a mistake, attempt to change a negative outcome into a positive one, or simply offer encouragement, but I can’t help but wonder what that small ripple could do over time. Would it introduce doubt and regret? I think I would spend the rest of my life obsessing over how I could have done better or said something different. This kind of over-analyzation is why I should never be granted a Wish spell in Dungeons & Dragons. The point I’m trying to make is that the past makes you… you, and that’s worth something.

With that out of the way… let’s stop overthinking this and throw caution to the wind. Imagine this magical wizard was holding a wand to my head, and I had to go back in time and give my younger self some advice. What would I say?

During my last two years of college, I worked a full-time job and took 12 credit hours of night classes at the same time. These two years were the most stressful time in my life. The pressure of working my first real IT job as a network administrator and the stress of extending my last year of college by a few semesters, all combined with daily life, was enough to fundamentally change my personality. My poor wife went through the ordeal of seeing the person she was hoping to marry (we were still dating at the time) become an entirely new person.

The advice I would give my younger self is this: make time for life. Friends, family, relationships, and your own mental health are so much more important than good grades in your college years. A degree is useful, sure, but to this day, nobody has ever requested a copy of my academic transcript, and likely never will. Those grades didn’t matter, and because I failed to realize that fact, I put my degree before everything else. I experienced burnout so severe that it changed who I am as a person. It changed my thought processes, my sense of humor, and my creativity. During those years, I didn’t make time for the things that really matter, so I would tell my younger self how important it is to be a human first and a homework robot second.

So how do you deal with burnout? I’m sure we’ve all been there, and I want to hear about your experiences. At such an early stage in my career, it will be humbling to learn from so many seasoned IT professionals in this community.

58 Comments
MVP
MVP

You will have to wait a few more days for my article, but your post is very much inline with an aspect I am going to discuss, so will leave that content for then. There was still a point in your life that pops out as being something potentially worthy of change, the question is if you had done things differently would this have been a better, worse or indifferent impact on who you are and how you have lived and continue to live your life. Sliding Doors.. and something that can cripple people just thinking about that.

You live in the now, the past affects thought processes and decisions, but they can be ignored and pushed out for the better.

Level 9

I have actually discussed this concept of "what if" thinking with my wife repeatedly. She tends to dwell in the past, regretting mistakes and bad decisions, or in the future, worrying about things to come. The trouble with "what if" is that it almost always takes away from what is. You cannot enjoy your life or learn from what is going on around you if you are dwelling in the past or the future. All your past experiences, good and bad, have made you who you are. Many people would like to go back and change a bad decision or experience, but what would that do to you?

I once had my car stolen and had to bum rides off my roommate until I could get a replacement. It was not a good experience. However, if I had my own car I would never have been where I was the day I met my wife. We might not have met and my wife and family wouldn't even be. Never forget the positive impact of bad experiences. You can't actually change the past, so learn from it and live in the present.

Level 11

Life is full of choices, whichever you choose can be viewed as the wrong one.  Live life for the moment, and do what makes you happy.  Live life without regrets.  Having worked 16-18 hour days to try and "help" the company, to be overlooked, and undervalued, you soon find out to stop.  Take stock.  And most importantly, do what makes you happy, as no-one else in life will.  If that means working loads, and learning great.  But then dont worry about the things you may miss by not experiencing them.  Alternatively, work hard, play hard and use your time wisely.  There is no simple one answer, there is no silver bullet.

Level 14

Wow does this hit close to home. When I started out, my younger self was working the overnight shift as a computer operator and then working as an auto parts clerk during the day at a well known national retailer. Then.... two nights a week taking business and project management courses ( I was an English major when I got my BA). All of this and I had three young kids and an hour commute each day. My wife picked up the pieces and we survived. I learned, I grew, my kids are grown, married and successful, Most of all my wife survived.... 41 years later and we are now talking me winding it down. The workload made me stronger and more resilient, but I never lost focus on my family. That my friends is the key.

How do I deal with burnout? I literally ran up a mountain! I am not suggesting that for everyone but it has made a huge impact on my approach to life and work since. It was also a #bucketlist and fed into a lifelong desire that I mentioned in my Day1 post.

I as well went through intense stressful periods of my life that has altered my personality permanently... for the worse Unfortunately I was never able to return and I do miss my old self.

Level 13

I totally agree with you on not dwelling on or in the past - it leads to nowhere good and can sabatoge the only thing you really do have, which is now.  I like the metaphor of the wizard putting a wand to your head and *forcing* you to go back and give advice.  The older I get (and I'm older than dirt already) the more cautious I become about giving advice because there are so many variables and you never know when something that at first blush looks really and truly bad can somehow turn out to be one of the best things that ever happened to you.  Burnout is a tough one.  If you really love what you do the potential to let it go too far is always there.  When it risks health, family, relationships (all the stuff that *really* matters) it has to be dealt with.  You're not going to lay on your death bed and wish you'd spent more time in the office.

MVP
MVP

Make time for life - that's a great statement. I've always been a very dedicated employee and like most men tend to identify by what I do, more than who I am (Still learning and working on that). I remember the years with my kids growing up. My wife and I both worked and neither of us made a lot of money. But I felt the need to really give myself to my employer and get everything done (Yes, I now know that everything will never get done, but I had to try) I would work all day and then come home and sit at the computer trying to get everything done, then back to the office the next day and round and round it would go. Couldn't even guess how many nights my kids and wife got precious little attention. While I was trying to send the message of work ethic I was really sending the message that work was what was most important.

At this juncture if I could return to an earlier time I would tell myself to carefully evaluate what really is most important. Yes, one should give their employer their due, work with diligence and give full effort. But, one should reserve their best for those relationships that are truly most important. Time is something that can't be recovered. I'd remind myself and encourage yourself to frequently re-evaluate how your time is being used and where you are giving your "Best."

Level 10

"Diamonds may be formed under pressure, but never forget they are not formed overnight."

Level 14

What a great topic!  It's a bit open ended and entirely subjective.  "Living in the moment" in contrast to "dwelling in the past" seems more descriptive of impulsivity than anything else (no offense intended....I have been told I have the personality of a grumpy old man).  I'm ashamed to admit that I am also a millennial, but I do not act like it at all.  I think one of the keys to personal success is minimizing regret and ALWAYS learning from the past.  Some might say this is "dwelling in the past"....but is it that, or is it actually moving FORWARD, while being cautious and focused?  I'd argue it's the latter.  Self reflection is something that I think is incredibly important.  It's how you find out who you are and decide who you want to be.  So instead of waking up one day and figuring out how you've changed, you're in control of becoming the best version of yourself.  This includes seeing the warning signs of being burned out.  I've been there.  It sucks....and the only way to stop it is to figure out what the potential solutions are and apply them.  Sometimes that requires changes outside of your control/environment, or changes you can make for yourself.  If I could tell my younger self anything at all, it would be just that.  Start analyzing yourself and see where you can improve.  Also, contrary to your statement about your degree, I'd tell my younger self to not waste my time.  I think the days of degrees being worthwhile investments in the IT field are over, and certs are where it is at now.

Thanks for this one.  I enjoyed thinking about this and sharing my personal thoughts. 

Great post! I hadn't seen that, thank you for sharing your experience

Level 9

I often find myself asking "What if?"  It's really a silly question. You can't change what you did or did not do.  You simply have to live with the decisions you make.  It's been very hard for me to not regret and move on.  I find myself dwelling on the what ifs too often and that has an impact on my self morale and motivation.  As smttysmth02 said above, the best you can do is learn what you can and use that in the future. 

nickzourdos​ I just finished reading the Happy Brain by Dean Burnett. It is a quest for what actually makes a brain happy. The thing you need to understand is that it was going to happen to you anyway. You were bound to become a different person. We all do. Your brain was going thru changes in the aftermath of puberty. Things you found funny as a child barely get your cheeks raised, they just don't seem funny. You enjoy them perhaps because of nostalgic memories, but they don't make you burst out laughing any more. One of the reasons is our brains go thru a process improvement restructuring to become even more efficient. Imagine a neural network or machine learning system that has been running wide open, taking in everything because it has no idea what is important. Then puberty starts and it goes through the first phase of house cleaning. By the time your brain development settles down in the early twenties, most of the connections have been made, and some of the trivial ones are removed. It isn't that new connections can not be made it is simply they are harder to do, because the brain is now a well honed system. Of course this assumes what most would call a normal brain.

As for the school grades. I take your point that no one has asked for my transcript in years. Thing is that while you are at school it is of benefit to know how well you are taking in the information being passed on. In my undergraduate education, our engineering professors emphasized that mastering a specific area is not about regurgitating facts, it is about knowing a vocabulary, recognizing the problem, knowing there are formulas etc. which can be applied, and then going to the library or your bookshelf [Google not even close to a thing back then.] and working it all out. It was about how to learn and how to solve problems. That had such an impact on me when I was in graduate school because I told my instructors grades were not as important as me understanding the material. Especially since most of the exams were not 100 question multiple choice, but 2 to 5 problems you had two hours to solve. I still hated getting a C, OMG it felt like death!, but I learned to accept it if I could go back to the teacher and work out what I missed.

I do understand that perhaps social interactions should not be neglected in pursuit of academic achievements. It is a balance like almost everything. During grad school is when I started dating my wife. She graduated from college - as an older than average student. Two days later I graduated from grad school. Two days later we had our wedding. A week later we were moving to Riverside, California. One of my classmates gave a toast at the wedding saying how spectacular it was the we had gone thru all this and managed to have all these friends and find each other, especially at a time when so many others were struggling to keep their relationships in tact. [I went to the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) for grad school. The USAF saw it as our full-time job and we all ended up with twice as many grad credits than were required to get a degree. I did know a lot of very driven officers who spent more time at school than with their families.]

Glad to know you live life with now regrets. That could be a very #DARKTHEME 'd life. Yet you are wise enough to learn from your past and appreciate that it makes you who you are now.

Level 15
The trouble with "what if" is that it almost always takes away from what is.

Well that's a dang good quote there.

@zackm If only there was a way to autocorrect what if to what is. Perhaps you could script that?

Level 15

It's an interesting thing, time travel. What makes you think you haven't actually done all of these things yet?




Great insight Tom, thank you for sharing. Before the last two years of my undergrad I had already gotten the important subjects out of the way and understood them well, the rest of my schedule was "filler" classes that I could have afforded to let slide a bit in order to balance out my life a bit. I agree that a grade letter should not be sacrificed at the expense of learning!

Level 10

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To deal with burnout, you have to relax and unwind.  That is different for everyone.  I love to be around kids and enjoy the humor in them - Doesn't matter if they are being good or bad or anywhere in betwee, kids are hysterical and make me laugh.  Laughing does wonders for burnout!

How to deal with burn out?

  • Document your efforts and track them so you have:
    • The ability to reference them in the future.  If you're that busy you may forget what you've accomplished, and it's great to be able to call it back up and not reinvent the wheel.
    • Records showing your work level.  They can be used to show Management you're swamped, and to justify hiring more FTE's to help reduce your stress by sharing the load with others.
  • Break down the tasks and triage them to help the largest amount of people first.
  • Hire temporary help as needed.  There are great people available, with awesomely advanced skills, who can temporarily fill the gaps for you.  I've done this and they've been huge time savers.
  • Bring in interns to help. Yes, they'll need more time at the start to get them up to speed--perhaps increasing your temporary burn-out until they can be trusted to work without supervision.  But they'll take the small items off your plate, and they'll get helpful business experience in a high-stress environment.  Everyone wins.
  • Set aside time every day for yourself.  Spend some time exercising, some time with a friend / loved-one.  It can be as simple as a telephone call, as convenient as a Skype face-to-face session or FB Video link.  Or even better, meet with someone in person in a semi-private setting (a homey cafe, a man cave or den) and talk about what's on your mind, what's on their minds.
  • Make a plan for the near future that involves something you find fun.  I've found that having something enjoyable to look forward to within the next couple of months lifts my attitude.  Schedule an evening with friends, a weekend out of town, a day with your favorite family member(s) doing something a little different (bowling, hiking, taking in a movie, walking a new trail, visiting a new micro-brewery, hitting a trade show or boat show or sports-and-camping show, etc.)
  • Sign up for training.  A change of environment PLUS an increase in your knowledge is a great solution for reducing your burnout.  It can be as good as a vacation!
Level 13

Stiff drink

Level 12

Margin. 

Just as we need an invisible boundary on paper to contain words, we need margin to keep us from overflowing into a never ending cycle that leave us spent and burnt-out.

For about 8 years, I worked full-time plus volunteered another 30-35 hours per week...which had me burnt out.

The answer.

The power of saying No.

You can get your margin back with the power of No. You don't always have to say No, but if you want to get that space back, you definitely need to employ it a majority of the time.

I occasionally have a moment when I look into the mirror and think about the ramifications of sending a snapshot of my current face back to myself long ago.  Maybe when I was a teen, or in college, or in my 30's or 40's.  What would I conclude?  What would I think?

"Wow--I look like I'm doing without sleep, and have been super-stressed.  I wonder what I've been up to . . . ?"

"Hey--I look SHARP!  I wonder what I'm dressed up for?"

"Man--I've gotta watch the calorie intake!  Time to start a better regimen of exercise and being more active and eating smarter!"

Level 13

It has been a long time since I felt the raw stress of burn out. I seem to need certain motivations, so I procrastinate some tasks> I think this it to create a higher stress level in which I can concentrate. I used to love burn out. Or I used to love trying to get to burn out. People used to tell me that you can't burn the candle at both ends. To which I would reply, "Yes you can if your candle is big enough." Some people's candles are bigger than others. I seem to thrive on stress. Or at least I used to when I was younger. Somewhere along the way, between having a child and buying a boat, middle age set in. I don't try to burn out anymore. I wonder where the time goes. Time changes us.

First i would warn my younger self that no matter that you deal with stress better than many, eventually there will come a point when you are 45 it will get to you, affect you, and change you.   I would remind him to prepare, and keep the mental health good.   I would also like to tell him, be investment minded not lottery minded.   only hard work pays off.   I am not a lottery player but its the mindset of hoping for something magical.   We need to keep practical, remain focused on a goal.   Don't overlook opportunity, and strive to make each day better for someone else and not just yourself. 

Level 9

I would love to say I have no regrets, but I do, and if I could change some things in my past, I absolutely would. I would give myself the information I didn't have or didn't take seriously at the time.

But I do agree on your point that making time for family and friends should be prioritized over other parts of life (such as school or work)... even though I have definitely needed to supply my transcript to HR for a number of jobs I've had.

Level 10

I used to be all about work as much hours and make as much money when I was young.  Now in my older years that has become not as important as enjoyment of family and friends.   I always enjoyed going fishing and have picked up that hobby once again.   My dad got me started into it and enjoyed it with him while he was still around.

Level 8

I have burned out on hobbies and projects.   But never my field in IT.   It also helps that the field keeps changing and there is always something new to discover.  

Level 8

That is an interesting concept that makes complete sense. If I hadn't made my choices and learned from the mistakes I made I would not be the person sitting here today writing this post. My career path originally was much different than how it turned out to be. I was actually going to college for Architectural Drafting and one day at a previous job I became the computer tech because it was a hobby of mine and they needed one. From there everything snowballed to where I am today.

Level 10

So how do you deal with burnout?

Say No.

Take control of your own life.

Excercise daily.

Go offline 1 day each week.

Level 11

I was recently lucky to receive a scholarship to get me bachelors from work. That degree helped me in no way but as a personal accomplishment. As you mentioned it is a degree but in the IT field experience and certifications I feel have more of an impact on your career. Still a nice thing to have but most likely to be pushed aside as just a nice thing to have.

Level 12

How do I deal with burnout? With an unhealthy level of sarcasm and a very dark sense of humor.

Level 14

Make time for life is spot on.  It is easy to lose sight of it.  We get so focused on work, that we forget to release on the way home or shrotly afterwards.  When the kids were younger, that meant playing basketball with them until it was dark out, or playing video games with them.  Now that they are grown, my primary release is riding my bike.  Playing with the grandkids works well, too.

Gotta have that release.

Level 14

Exercise daily.  Oh yes.

Level 9

   Burnout relief?  Hmmm....create a punch list and get away from computers for a short while and do yoga, read trashy romance novels and try to channel my inner-Mary Barry (Great British bake-off)

Level 14

for sure....

My grandkids 10,9,5, and 2.5 keep me busy...

(oh ya.. forgot the "grand dog" )

Level 11

Once you are part of an event, you cannot change it. It's locked in time (or so The Doctor has suggested at times).

When I was younger, I had plans, even knowing that 'man plans, G-d laughs' and 'life is what happens after you make other plans.' The great grans scheme was, by my 30th birthday, to have my PhD in engineering, have a tenure-track position, and be married preferably with a child at least on the way. So, I busted my tuchus and outworked pretty much everyone I knew. It worked right about up to graduating with a B.S. in mechanical engineering. I had a pick of nice graduate schools from which to choose.

Almost overnight, I broke. I still have no idea what really happened for sure. I was not burned out, since I was still interested and engaged. However, I could no longer keep complex topics in my mind from stem to stern. I'd start reading the derivation of something in a textbook, follow each step, but lose track of how it began before reaching the end of a page. Sleep became harder to get than ever, and ... more than I want to go into here. Long story short, I met some people outside of my studies whom I still keep in touch with, of whom I hold fond memories, or both. My academic career, however, fizzled. I never even reached my M.S., then wound up doing everything from glorified secretarial/admin work to about a year as a patent examiner before winding up doing customer support and troubleshooting for UUNET: my first IT job.

You can all guess, since I'm on Thwack, that I never did get back into engineerding. I planned, then life happened, just like the adage. I've been trying to make the best of what I can do since; over two decades now.

MVP
MVP

A few years ago I went through a burnout where I had been working a lot of overtime, flying interstate weeks on end, and I reached a point of exhaustion.

One of the benefits of being self-employed now is I get to dictate my hours. If I feel myself getting too frustrated or tired, I can schedule some downtime for myself. Go play with the dog, play some video games, etc.

Level 12

Time travel - It is a very important thing happens in everyone's life. We have to travel along with time, but need to remember, how we are travelling. You should utilize the time, much of it and need not to feel bad later. Plan everything in your way so that you can convert the time in your way. We should not allow time to take over our lifes. You can travel parallely, but time should not be running faster than you .

Level 12

I am at a burnout now, the only network administrator with 150 end users and no assistance. Tried to take a vacation the week of Thanksgiving and worked most of it. Long weekends just don't cut it need a real vacation where I can relax and let it all go but if I go away I have to keep checking in throughout the day. No end in sight for me.

If they won't let you take a vacation, it's time to either move on or demand they hire another person. Don't feel obligated to stay connected while you're on vacation, your leadsership should understand how important your mental health is. A job will only swallow you whole if you let it.

I know this is going to sound corny, cheesy, and downright nerdeeky, but I have a way of dealing with stress that came from a fantasy world.

Back before the invention of the personal computer (yes, millennials, WAYYYYYY before you were born), there was this little fantasy role playing game (RPG for short) invented by an uberdork named Gary Gygax called Dungeons And Dragons.  (As a side note, I still have my original books from the eary 70's and while they are well-used, tattered and and torn, they represent a part of my childhood of which I wish to not let go.)  Many an hour was whiled away in pursuit of treasure, adventure and the omni-important Experience Points!  My character was an Elf named Gnarf Fiacci (again, a side note: I got a ration of grief from other campaigners because that first name is very close to a character named "Snarf" from the "Thundercats" TV show.), who was a Mage, and I was able to get him to, as I recall, Level 24.  Anyway, if one has never played D&D, it helps to get to know the race of the character you are assuming.  Again, if one doesn't know, Eleves actually live to be almost a thousand years old, and that bit of knowledge totally transformed the way I played the character......and my life, for that matter!

I remember I was in a campaign with several other players, and we were going through this kingdom and came across a pack of Level 5 Orcs.  One of the other adventurers was a lady, whose name escapes me now but we'll call her Peg, who was playing another Elf character.  Now in my mind at the time, if I live a thousand years, I gots time on me side!  And Eleves should be played, at least according to the Dungeon Master's Guide, with a sense of patience and restraint.  Well, when we came across this band of Orcs, this lady, Peg, had her character rush headlong into the meleé, swords blazing and screaming like a Banshee.  I, on the other hand, sat back (and I told my Dungeon Master that in a PM (and again, folks, we didn't have computers or the intarwebs or Bookyface back then, so a "PM" was a small, handwritten note passed to the DM)) and watched as she nearly got herself killed.  Now I'm all about helping people, don't get me wrong, but as was discussed in another thread, barrelling ahead for the sake of conquest can be foolhardy.  And that is the approach I have taken to most of my life: the whole "patience and restraint" thing.  Have I "missed out" on a few things because I hesitated to take action?  Of course but as I have found, the good Lord takes care of me even in my foolishness.

So, nickzourdos​, to answer your question about dealing with burnout, I guess between adopting the viewpoint of "patience and restraint", I also take the advice of a book that I read back in college entitled "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff (And It's All Small Stuff)".  One other thing just came to mind on this...

I remember being at a Men's retreat with my Church back about 15 years ago, and we had a guest speaker who gave us a wonderful example.  He told us this story:

"A philosophy professor once stood up before his class with a large empty mayonnaise jar. He filled the jar to the top with large rocks and asked his students if the jar was full.  The students said that yes, the jar was indeed full. He then added small pebbles to the jar, and gave the jar a bit of a shake so the pebbles could disperse themselves among the larger rocks. Then he asked again, “Is the jar full now?"  The students agreed that the jar was still full. The professor then poured sand into the jar to fill up any remaining empty space. The students then agreed that the jar was completely full. The professor went on to explain that the jar represents everything that is in one's life.

The rocks are equivalent to the most important projects and things you have going on, such as spending time with your family and maintaining proper health. This means that if the pebbles and the sand were lost, the jar would still be full and your life would still have meaning.  The pebbles represent the things in your life that matter, but that you could live without. The pebbles are certainly things that give your life meaning (such as your job, house, hobbies, and friendships), but they are not critical for you to have a meaningful life. These things often come and go, and are not permanent or essential to your overall well-being.  Finally, the sand represents the remaining filler things in your life, and material possessions. This could be small things such as watching television or running errands. These things don't mean much to your life as a whole, and are likely only done to waste time or get small tasks accomplished.

The metaphor here is that if you start with putting sand into the jar, you will not have room for rocks or pebbles. This holds true with the things you let into your life. If you spend all of your time on the small and insignificant things, you will run out of room for the things that are actually important.  In order to have a more effective and efficient life, pay attention to the "rocks," because they are critical to your long-term well-being. Pay close attention to your health.  Spend time with your family.  Exercise.  Keep in touch with relatives that live far away.  While you can always find time to work or do chores, it is important to manage the things that really matter first. The rocks are your priorities, while the other things in your life are represented by pebbles and sand.

This story appears in many forms, some even incorporating a fourth element of water. However, its original source is unknown. In order to stay productive and efficient in your personal and professional life, it is best to only have five rocks in the jar at any given time. These rocks may represent a project you want to accomplish, spending time with your loved ones, spending time with your faith, focusing on your education, or maybe mentoring other people. Your top five big rocks need to go into the jar first or else they will never get in at all."

The Rock, Pebbles, and Sand Analogy for Time Management

What are the "rocks" in your life?  What "sand" or even "water" could you eliminate from your life?  Are there people or things or circumstances that, while it would be painful to remove yourself from them, would make your life better if they weren't in it?

To this day, 15 years later, I still have a little mason jar on my desk with golf balls (rocks) and popcorn (sand) in it to remind me to pay attention to what is important in my life.

Level 14

Easy to avoid burnout.  Stay drunk.           However, I drink with friends go to watch rugby and generally have a good social life.  That way work is just something that gets in the way and isn't the be all and end all of everything.  I wouldn't want to go back in time and change anything.  If I did I wouldn't be the person I am now and I quite like who I am now.  Who knows how a simple change could backfire.

Level 9

Working and college at the same time wasn't my burnout.  It was right after with my first IT job.  I didn't anticipate the affects of being on call 24x7 for an entire week every other week would have on me.  After a few years of doing this biweekly call rotation and being burnt out I had enough.  I left that job and did food service for six months until I could find another IT job with a more relaxed on call schedule.  I still dislike being on call but who doesn't.  Now I accept it as part of the job and don't really want to change career fields.  Not sure if I would warn my younger self about this though.

Level 10

Block out some "ME" time (without a screen) weekly to decompress and refuel.

It could be golden.

Level 9

'The point I’m trying to make is that the past makes you… you, and that’s worth something.'

I adore this. All the good and the bad shape us into who we are today, even if we have regrets we would be completely different people without them.

Level 9

Thanks.

Level 13

Thumbs up on margin.  I think we tend to get in this arms race/competition to come in and stay late and if you do it long enough you can get to a point where you are less invested in finishing or just always stay late even if you don't have to.  Many years ago I set a goal of leaving by 5:30 no matter what unless I had a compelling reason to stay (it does happen).  I've never regretted it.

Level 13

Burnout relief - find a good hobby that lets you shut off your mind.  Running is one of mine.  No music, no distractions, out early when it's just you, the wildlife and the stars.  Really helps to put things in perspective.

And silly me, I completely glossed over the last word in Nick's title:

Image result for i love the smell of napalm in the morning gif

Level 20

I wouldn't burn that degree anytime too soon... the job I do they sure did check that I really did graduate and really had the degree I said I have... just sayin'.  You might be surprised one day.  Maybe it's later in your career... idk but more and more credentials are being checked.  I suppose it's due to all the grifters out there.

Level 20

Lol cheers!