Murphy\’s Bye-Laws

Law #4: Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it. –H.D. Thoreau

Burned To A Crisp

Posted by PintofStout on July 14, 2006

As anyone may have been able to tell, my frequency of posting has suffered greatly in the last month or two. Not that it is important why I haven’t posted as much; like someone commented on the Llamanation blog, it’s my (or their) blog and I need no excuse for not posting. I will try and reason this out, though, because blog post infrequency is but one symptom of many for my condition: burn out.

I remember being in college (for the majority of it, anyway) and feeling burned out near the end of every quarter; some of it had to do with a grinding and sometimes boring schedule of repetitious procrastinating followed by intense cramming. Yet, for the first two or two-and-a-half years of this I would be almost completely refreshed during the break and return to start the quarter fresh. Eventually the breaks seemed to help less and less, and soon I was burned out when the quarter started and stayed in a burn out equilibrium, not really getting any better and sometimes getting slightly worse.

The change can probably be, at least partially, attributed to the level of difficulty the work took on starting in year two. (It took a year of more difficult work to nullify the effects of the breaks.) I would attribute some of the rest of the burn out effects to just doing the same thing for such a long time. Neither factor, hard, difficult work nor long duration of tasks, can alone be attributed to burn out. Through 4 years of high school burn out wasn’t as big an issue as plain boredom mostly because the work wasn’t very difficult. Likewise, a difficult task doesn’t lead to burn out unless it endures for a prolonged period. In fact, for me a difficult task that doesn’t drag on can be a boost rather than a tax.

Recently, in the beginning of June, I endured a spate of intense work – not difficult, just intense due to time constraints. After putting in long hours and working hard for two weeks (the first reason posts were few), I suddenly slowed down in work intensity and was left lingering for what seemed like long hours stuck at work. As this purgatory between intense work and no work at persisted, I soon became aware that the spate of work had indeed burned me out; helped more than a little by the sudden drop in activity. Since then the work load has picked up and been steady, but still rather dull. This extended boredom following the exhausting work has made a mess of me.

Some of the symptoms that alerted me to my condition, inneeda a vacationitis, were my stubborn determination to not get out of bed in the morning, utterly lumpish laziness the rest of the day, staying up nights, and looking eagerly toward a vacation. Some of them are results of, or at least partially contributory to, others symptoms. Did I mention lack of concentration in the list of sym..uh…symp…uh…things? Vacation can’t come soon enough, but will it be enough?

(I would write a better conclusion, but I really just lost all the will to do it. Damn this disorder!)


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