Burn-out

There are days when the information is just too much. You’ve been sat at the computer for weeks on end without a break. You have a minimum of 10 open tabs in Firefox and your terminal, half a dozen unrelated scripts on the go in emacs, your email client, tens of news feeds and two or three OpenOffice documents in your half-dozen desktop workspaces. You’re logged into multiple machines, including the box at home to monitor those torrents. And one day you wake up late, exhausted and unable to do anything productive.

Happened to me today for the first time in my new job and so I spent the day resting at home. I’m sure I’m not alone in this, so feel free to share your tips on dealing with computational burn-out. Read a book, go for a walk, cook a meal, listen to music? I’m considering negotiating a day or half-day off once every couple of weeks. Do postdocs find their employers generally sympathetic to those times when you just need a break?

One thought on “Burn-out

  1. Pedro Beltrao

    I think I work in bursts. Some weeks I am really productive, I get a lot done, a ton of new ideas but then some other weeks I just cannot focus at all. I just do not even try to do much those days :). I come in late and do a lot of browsing on unrelated stuff or I try to catch up on papers. I am still doing the PhD and my boss is really hands off (even more so for the postdocs). He does not pressure at all, I go to him when/if I have something new to show him.

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