003: Burnout, Mental Exhaustion, and Productivity

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Triumphs & Fails

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[00:00:12] Adam: All right. It's episode number three for someday in the future. We don't know when yet. On today's show, we're talking about burnout, mental exhaustion, and how to be productive when life sucks. But as always, let's start with triumphs and fails.

[00:00:25] Adam: Who wants to go first?

[00:00:26] Carol: I'll take this one. Okay. So for me, um, I have a son off at college. I know we've talked about that a couple of times and he is a freshman majoring in computer science. And my big triumph is he called home to ask for help. So yeah, it's pretty cool when, you know, kid calls mom to help with engineering class.

[00:00:49] Carol: So it's always just, you know, it's this rewarding thing to know you're a parenting right to where your kid calls you when they're stuck on something and to be the female that he calls for his engineering work. And his dad, I should also say, his dad's an electrical engineer, so he could have called either of us, but I got the first call, so I helped him through it.

[00:01:10] Carol: So it's just, it's a, it's a triumph for me just as a mom and as a female engineer to get those calls. I like it. I just

[00:01:15] Tim: found it ridiculous that you have a college aged kid.

[00:01:18] Carol: You know, he turns 19 in a week. Yeah, out there. And then the youngest is 16. So I officially get to drink anytime I want and have drivers all the time.

[00:01:30] Adam: Nice. That'll be a good triumph at some point.

[00:01:33] Carol: Yeah. All right. What about you, Ben? You got one?

[00:01:37] Ben: Uh, yeah, sure. So, uh, I work traditionally in, uh, in what we would call Brownfield application, which is an application that's been around for a long period of time. So I'm in the. The long term, the long tail maintenance mode.

[00:01:50] Ben: And, uh, I wanted to try a little R&D project over the weekend. And I realized I haven't started a new project in what feels like years. And I don't know how to do it. Like I, I don't know where to find the right build tools and I don't know how to put build tools together because I've never had to do it.

[00:02:09] Ben: I've always been on a team where someone did that and they did it really well. And then I just use it going forward. And. It's, uh, it's very humbling to start over and do something that you've never had to do or haven't had to do in any real way in a long time. And, uh, you know, I'm sure everyone's a little bit familiar with imposter syndrome and like nothing puts you right back there than, than having to start over and, and feel immediately incompetent.

[00:02:37] Carol: Yeah. It's like, you feel like if you don't know how to start it, then how did you ever get going? Yeah. But then you realize you've just been doing the same thing over and over. And that, that point didn't exist. Yeah. So

[00:02:47] Ben: I just had to start spending time Googling for like, do I use Gulp? Do I use Grunt? Are people using Webpack these days?

[00:02:57] Ben: But then it's all, I'm still on an old technology. So it's very, uh. It was very frustrating, to be honest. How about you, Tim? What do you feel like?

[00:03:07] Tim: This isn't a big one. You know, they're not always going to be big, but you know, it's time of year. We're doing raises, so I do have a team that I work with and I'm in charge of them and I have to choose their raises.

[00:03:17] Tim: And I actually turned it in on time this time. I always hate, I avoid that like the plague. I hate doing it. It's just, I don't feel qualified and you know, imposter syndrome. I don't feel like I should be doing it, but I have to. So turned it in on time and I was proud of myself for doing it. Good

[00:03:34] Adam: for you, man.

[00:03:34] Adam: Yeah. I feel like I, I get my yearly review about every three years and then it's, it's just backdated or whatever, but yeah. How about you, Adam? What you got, what's your triumph or fail? Uh, this week I have a triumph. Uh, so you guys might remember, uh, I think a couple of weeks ago I mentioned. Um, we had been working on a, a tool inspired by code coverage tools to show us, um, our application and the state of our having tested it, um, on a new platform.

[00:04:02] Adam: And this week we hit a hundred percent. So we have tested every area of our application with thousands of, of actions and routes. And, um, we're not like certifying it bug free, but we have been able to get through everything in at least one happy path, um, which feels so good. I'm just, it's like a giant weight off of my shoulders and this deadline that's been looming.

[00:04:28] Adam: So as we're recording this, it's late November and we have this deadline of like trying to get this Ready to go to production the very end of the year. So we're kind of hoping like people will take some time off, um, following Christmas, maybe leading into new years, and we can take advantage of that to roll these, uh, new environments out to production then.

[00:04:47] Adam: And,

[00:04:48] Carol: oh, you mean like your customers taking time off, not employees, right?

[00:04:52] Adam: Right. Yeah. Yeah. We're B2B. So, uh, business to business. So we're, our customers are not. The end users really of our project, our product there, we enable them to do their jobs better. And so, uh, yeah, we're hoping that they'll be taking time off.

[00:05:09] Adam: Our customers will be taking time off at the end of the year and we can take advantage of that lull in traffic and activity to, to deploy a totally new platform and go crazy. And it's just feeling like we might actually make that deadline. It might actually happen.

[00:05:24] Carol: Congratulations.

[00:05:24] Adam: That's awesome. Yeah.

[00:05:25] Adam: Thank you. Cool. Well, uh, so for today's main topic, we wanted to talk about burnout, uh, and mental exhaustion and what's the difference between the two. Uh, and you know, uh, since that's just a fact of life, how do you manage to still be productive when, when, when it's happening to you, when life is sucking?

[00:05:45] Adam: So I guess. The first question I want to raise is what is the difference between mental exhaustion and burnout? And, and so what, and how are

[00:05:54] Carol: they similar? Yeah. So, um, mental exhaustion, the way I see it is just. You can't think anymore. You literally can't comprehend like simple things. Um, I can spend all day writing code and be so in depth in what I'm doing that when I go to cook dinner, I am trying to figure out which one's a tablespoon and which one's a teaspoon because I am just that done or worse.

[00:06:22] Carol: I'll walk in the kitchen and see like all of the stuff that we have. And I still end up. Ordering a pizza because I can't think anymore. I can't put any more effort into anything that is mental or requires any thought. It's, it's worse to me than physical exhaustion because at least when I'm physically exhausted, I can still look at my kids and have a conversation with them.

[00:06:44] Carol: I can look at the boyfriend and still watch a movie with him. When I'm mentally exhausted, I'm done. I'm not thinking anymore. I'm just, I'm, I'm zoned out.

[00:06:53] Adam: So I think a lot of people, and I'm here to

[00:07:03] Adam: talk to you about mental exhaustion and burnout.

[00:07:05] Carol: So burnout, to me, is the long term effect of mental exhaustion. It's constantly putting yourself in a situation to where you're mentally exhausted over and over and over again, to where you no longer can comprehend what's going on, like in your day to day activity at work.

[00:07:21] Carol: Or you just don't have the energy to put into it. You are done. It's like, to me, it's the effect of being mentally exhausted so long.

[00:07:30] Ben: To me, I almost feel like there's a professional personal dichotomy between the two, meaning that when I think about burnout, I think about how it affects my work. And when I think about mental exhaustion, I think about how it affects my personal life.

[00:07:45] Ben: Yeah. And, and that I find I aim to be productive most of the time that I'm awake. Uh, but then there are some days where I just can't, like even on a Sunday where I might feel guilty about just laying down and watching two movies back to back, like I'm just mentally exhausted and I have to just not think and I just have to watch stuff blow up for four hours.

[00:08:11] Tim: I would say before we get too far into this, you know, the, the things we're talking about, we're talking about. You know, mental exhaustion. We're talking about burnout. It could also be depression. So all these things that we're talking about, none of us are mental health professionals. Um, so if any of you are, any of you out there feeling these things and it's become a problem in your life and really become a problem, uh, definitely seek help, uh, medical help.

[00:08:35] Tim: Uh, we're just talking about how to deal with the, you know, the common thing that all of us deal with is, uh, this is being mentally tired because we work at a mental job, right? I mean, what we do. We solve problems with our brain every day, and so just like if you, if you have a physical job, your body's gonna hurt at the end of the day.

[00:08:53] Tim: That's just, you know that. That's normal. Same thing with us. We have a mental job. Our, our minds are going to hurt at the end of the day, and sometimes that hurt feels good, honestly. I sometimes worry if I, if my brain doesn't hurt a little bit, like I didn't really exercise my brain that day, but you know, over and over again, it can lead to burnout.

[00:09:14] Tim: I, I see. As Carol said, mental exhaustion is somewhat normal. But burnout is sort of a chronic condition, uh, that can come from not dealing with mental exhaustion in a healthy manner.

[00:09:31] Adam: Well said. Yeah, I agree. Uh, it's easy for me to forget about that stuff because I'm married to a therapist and I, uh, am in therapy.

[00:09:38] Adam: So it's, it's, uh, I'm, I'm treating myself and it's easy to forget that not everybody is. forlab

[00:09:45] Tim: ELLBankets, both of those are available. Um, you

[00:09:55] Carol: will have, in the second chapter of this episode we look at ABL issues and terms, So look into your health benefits and see if that's something that's there and make a phone call.

[00:10:20] Adam: Right. So, uh, what do we think causes burnout and mental exhaustion?

[00:10:26] Ben: One of the things that I at least feel has a heavy effect on how I am at work is the degree of agency and self direction that I

[00:10:35] Carol: feel. What does that mean? What does agency and self direction

[00:10:39] Ben: mean? Agency is, is kind of your, sure I'm going to mangle this, but kind of your own ability to exert influence on the world.

[00:10:48] Ben: And, uh, and, and self direction, I, you know, along the same lines as feeling like you have control over what you're doing at work, at least to some degree. Okay. And I think as, as that gets stripped away, then you can start to not understand why you're doing the work that you're doing. And then that to me just wears down very, very heavily and quickly on your, on your outlook on life.

[00:11:14] Adam: The best case scenario for agency and self direction, I guess, would be like, your, your boss gives you a goal and he says, I don't care, uh, how you get there. Just, you know, we need to solve this problem. Yeah.

[00:11:27] Ben: Absolutely. I have a teammate of mine, Sean Griggs, and he always likes to say, uh, bring me the problems, not the solutions.

[00:11:35] Ben: And that his job is to come up with a way to solve the problem.

[00:11:40] Carol: Is that good or bad?

[00:11:42] Ben: I think, you know, if you're, if you're working within a zone that is not too easy and not too challenging, I think that's a super rewarding place to be. That you can see at least the direction that you want to be going in, and you feel empowered to be able to reach solutions on your own.

[00:12:04] Ben: I think super,

[00:12:05] super

[00:12:05] Tim: rewarding. Also, finding purpose in your work. I think it's kind of what you're saying as well, Ben. If you feel like you're, um, what's his name? The Greek guy pushing the boulder up the hill? Sisyphus? Yeah, you feel like the Sisyphus and you're just doing this mindless job of pushing this boulder up and it's just, it's never going to change.

[00:12:25] Tim: It's always going to be the same thing over and over again, but if you feel like you're actually having purpose in your work, then even though the work might, the amount of effort might be the exact same, it doesn't affect you as mentally. As bad as if you feel that what you're doing really doesn't have purpose, it doesn't really mean anything, and that tomorrow it's going to be the exact same problem.

[00:12:48] Tim: Um, that, that will cause burnout extremely quickly.

[00:12:53] Ben: I was thinking about, I don't know if anyone here has heard of, uh, Maslov's Hierarchy of Needs. Oh yeah. The Needs Triangle Pyramid. And they, I think the very top one is, um, self actualization, which I don't know how to say this in a way that doesn't sound weird, but the jobs that we're in to me, self actualization almost feels like it's the bottom of the pyramid.

[00:13:19] Ben: Like that's, that's table stakes because we're in such a mentally demanding profession, right? Safety, which I think is typically what's at the bottom of the pyramid is. Like, yeah, everybody needs to be safe, of course, but in order for us to enjoy the type of work that we do. Like you really have to be high on that pyramid in order to, to feel like your job is meaningful.

[00:13:42] Adam: I'm pretty sure the very bottom of that pyramid is wifi.

[00:13:48] Tim: Good wifi.

[00:13:52] Carol: Reliable wifi. Yeah. So burnout actually hit me pretty hard a few years ago. Um, we were taking a customer live and, you know, we're given this date to hit and, you know, the date was December the 1st, or, you know, it was early December, late, you know, November. Um, so we're all my whole team is working so hard and, you know, putting in all the hours that you could think of.

[00:14:18] Carol: And then, you know, we're thinking that we're going to hit this goal and then it's. It's actually going to be the end of December, and we're working so hard again, and we're still putting in all of these hours, and then it turns into the end of January, and then rolls into February. So we just kept putting in and kept putting in all of these hours, and there was no, you were never seeing, um, your work go into play.

[00:14:45] Carol: You were never seeing the hard work pay off.

[00:14:48] Adam: So was the deadline being pushed back because there was more work to do before they could call it done? Or was it just they were moving the goalposts and the deadline at

[00:14:56] Carol: the same time? They were moving the deliverables with the due date. So it's like, Hey, okay, you really met everything here, but here's a whole new set of specs that we didn't even think about.

[00:15:06] Carol: It's just continuous crunch time. Yeah. But instead of making it feel like you've delivered. It's a great way to It's you didn't get it done yet. Oh, and we're going to add 30 days worth of more work to it. Keep going, keep going. So it got so bad that on Valentine's day, my son, who was then all of 13 or 14, you know, young boy hanging out with mom, trying to be nice and cooking mom Valentine's day dinner is, um, cooking burgers on the foreman.

[00:15:37] Carol: In the house starts a fire and I am so burnt out. There's smoke everywhere. My customer is literally on the phone with me yelling about something we didn't get right. And I am looking at him going. I don't even know what to do. I laid the phone down, didn't even hang up on the customer, didn't even, I'm still going back and forth with this customer in the kitchen trying to get the smoke out, trying to get everything calm, trying to reassure him he didn't ruin everything.

[00:16:04] Carol: Everything's fine and I am. Still mid talking to my customer and at that point, like that night is when I realized I had reached such a bad burnout spot that I couldn't even, like, take care of what felt like were basic needs for my family. I couldn't stop myself from working on this project. I couldn't pull myself away from it to enjoy a night with my son.

[00:16:26] Carol: It was just, it was beyond, beyond healthy. It was. It was probably the worst moment I'd had in my entire career there. That sounds rough. Yeah, it was bad. I ended up with kidney stones. It was, it wasn't good. My health wise, it was bad. It got to the point where at the end of the project, I would come in and I would just read through every single thing that they wanted done and then take lunch and then come back and work my way up from the bottom of the list to the top again.

[00:16:54] Carol: And then walk out. Like I wasn't achieving anything because I was so burnt out with it. I couldn't commit to a single work item that needed to be done. And that's after probably a week of that. That's when I talked to my manager. I was like, look, this is it. We're getting nowhere now, because if I've stopped, I can almost promise you the rest of my team stopped because at that time I was the lead of the project.

[00:17:15] Carol: I was like, so if it's hitting me this hard, then you can be sure that the rest of the team's feeling this. And that's when we did a lot of work to get everyone back on track. So, I mean, they cleaned out the process. They cleaned up the team. Like, we got better, but I definitely pushed myself way too hard and wouldn't let myself fail.

[00:17:31] Carol: And I wouldn't say anything up front about you changing these due dates or causing me, you know, to have all of these mixed emotions. It's constantly making me feel like a failure. Instead, I'm going, all right. I'll give you 30 more days. I'll give you another month. I'll give you more hours. I will work every weekend between now and then so that the company is successful.

[00:17:53] Carol: Like I will keep doing this over and over again. And I mean, it really took my son setting a George Foreman on fire. For me to realize I was way too checked out from my family and I couldn't focus on anything else and it was really messing with my life. So that's, that's when I realized how bad burnout can, can be.

[00:18:14] Carol: I mean, you can let your kids start a fire. I mean,

[00:18:16] Tim: it's, it's awful to laugh about now, but you were literally the, this is fine dog.

[00:18:20] Carol: Yeah, I was. I was. I was that me. I am. It's fine. This is fine.

[00:18:26] Adam: It's fine. It's fine. Everything's fine. No, I

[00:18:28] Carol: read the smoke. And the customer is like, are you okay? I'm like, it's fine.

[00:18:34] Carol: Just tell me what we need to do. It's fine.

[00:18:36] Adam: So I just put the, put the fire on my backlog. Yeah.

[00:18:42] Tim: That's awful, Carol. I, I, I'm so sorry to hear that.

[00:18:46] Adam: Yeah. And we're, we're glad to have you back in the real world.

[00:18:48] Carol: Yeah. And I'm glad that the company stepped up to you once I opened my mouth. Once I was like, look, I can't sleep, I can't even write code now.

[00:18:57] Carol: I've hit the point where I can't write any more code for you because I am so burnt out. I just read through every problem we have from top to bottom, and then from bottom to top, and that's my day. And I mean, they fix it, we fix it, you know, and you learn to speak up. And hopefully you work at a place where when you speak up, they listen, because burnout definitely will take a toll on your family.

[00:19:23] Carol: Does

[00:19:23] Tim: anyone else have any personal experiences with, with burnout? Ben, you got one?

[00:19:30] Ben: Back when, uh, back when Invision was a tiny company, and, and like all companies, or like a lot of companies, it started out as just a handful of people on a single web server handling, you know, almost no traffic. And as it started to grow organically, we started to outgrow the single server that had our application and our database.

[00:19:55] Ben: And, uh, and it just started to fail. And, uh, the server would be overloaded and moved to a different hosting provider because none of us were really server administrators. So we were always on managed hosting in the early days. And after we had moved from one hosting provider, when they brought the database back online, It would just crash every two hours, like on the dot.

[00:20:21] Ben: And, um, I was very frazzled by the time we had even gotten to there. I was already like at the end of my rope and my boss was like, you know, what are we doing? How are we going to fix this? And I, and I, I didn't know, I don't know why databases crash. I don't know how to look at database logs. It's not nothing I'd ever been trained on.

[00:20:44] Ben: And I remember one night he calls me on the phone, the database just crashed and I. And I just, I'm on the phone and I just broke out into tears. I'm like, I don't know what to do. You cried? I was having panic attacks. My brother, who's a doctor, got an associate of his to prescribe me muscle relaxant. I don't even know if that was the right

[00:21:10] Carol: thing to be prescribed.

[00:21:10] Carol: Don't question it.

[00:21:11] Adam: I was.

[00:21:14] Ben: I was in the bathroom, you know, leaning over the toilet, trying to breathe the cold air of the porcelain. And I, it was, I had never felt anything like this. It was unbelievable.

[00:21:27] Carol: And that's the worst. That is the worst to have that kind of anxiety.

[00:21:32] Ben: It was, I, uh, thankfully I, my, uh, my now wife, then girlfriend was extremely understanding and very comforting, you know, just like holding me and stroking my head and telling me it's going to be okay.

[00:21:46] Ben: And, but, uh, thankfully we, the, the hosting provider ended up being able to get in touch with, um, Percona. They're a company that has a kind of a custom branch of MySQL. And, uh, they have a consulting arm and they were to bring those people in and they not that this is related to burnout, but, uh, it, it had to do with a corrupted backup table or something,

[00:22:11] Tim: but it

[00:22:11] Carol: was, you would have never found that?

[00:22:13] Carol: No,

[00:22:14] Ben: no, not in a million years. I've been working with databases for years and I don't even know how to do that kind of stuff. No.

[00:22:22] Tim: Right.

[00:22:23] Ben: But just the, the pressure of, of like you being the person who has to fix something and the problem is so far outside your skill set. It's a, it's terrifying.

[00:22:33] Tim: Right. For those, for those of you who don't know Ben, he is like a big, strong, muscular dude.

[00:22:39] Tim: Yeah. I mean, he, before I knew him personally, I, you know, I couldn't imagine him ever crying and eating. I figured he would just like chew bars. Punch a wall. Yeah, punch a wall and chew bars of steel and just keep going. But yeah, that's, that's tender. I love you, man.

[00:22:58] Carol: Oh, and we love your wife for fixing you.

[00:23:07] Adam: Well, I, I have a, I guess a little bit of a burnout story, but, and I don't know if this is just because it didn't go on as long or, or maybe a, maybe I was lucky enough to sort of see it coming and, and do some stuff to, to. But you know, I've, I've, uh, I won't say which, but I used to work at a place and, um, I was trying, I could see a problem coming.

[00:23:33] Adam: Um, and I was, for lack of a better word, you know, screaming about it. I wasn't physically screaming, but, you know, like, I was being the squeaky wheel and I was getting real squeaky, um, saying like, this is a problem and it's going to be a big problem and we need to fix it. And the more that we, the longer that we don't fix it, the worse it's going to be when it does actually happen.

[00:23:54] Adam: Uh, and I, I am pretty sure I was doing that for more than a year. And it just, I got to the point where like every time that, that I would complete a project and then they would say, okay, well, here's your next and it wasn't fixed. The thing that I was like begging them. Please, I will do all of the work myself, like just find the time for me to do it, please.

[00:24:17] Adam: And um, when it wasn't that, I, I came, uh, within like hours of quitting on multiple occasions and I, I would pull my boss aside and say like, look, I'm, I'm contemplating quitting and I don't want to, I, I love. Everything else about working here and, uh, you know, I don't, I don't want to be, I don't want this to be the reason that I quit and, and we got to do something about this.

[00:24:44] Adam: And eventually I was able to get commitments like, yes, we will. Okay. Draw a line in the sand. It doesn't have to be here today now, but we have to set a deadline. And this is the point when we're going to start working on the problem. And this is the point that we're going to have in the sand for, uh, when it's going to be fixed.

[00:25:00] Adam: And. You know, these are, this is the amount of time that we're going to be able to put on it and, and these are the kind of holds. We're not going to take on this type of new project that's going to make things worse again before they can start getting better. And, uh, yeah, I mean, I can think of. At least twice, maybe three times that I was, you know, if, if I had pulled my manager aside for that discussion and, uh, and didn't get the answers that I wanted, then it was going to be like, okay, well, here's my resignation letter.

[00:25:30] Tim: And so you set boundaries. And I think that's, we'll kind of get into this later, but I think that's important. Right. I don't think I've ever actually been burned out. I've been exhausted. Yeah, but I never burned out because I, I have a very, I have a very distinct set of personal boundaries and that when they get crossed, I, I, I raise the flag and I refuse to move until my issues have been addressed.

[00:25:54] Tim: But I, I always see that as a bit of selfishness in my part. Sometimes I don't feel like a team player, but that's just me. I, I know that if I don't, if I, my personal boundaries get crossed that I, I, it's just something I can't. And that's

[00:26:09] Carol: it.

[00:26:09] Adam: I hope you guys enjoyed this. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us.

[00:26:26] Adam: So until then, thanks so much

[00:26:31] Tim: for tuning in.

[00:26:35] Carol: Yeah, I'm a single mom, so not working is not an option and I have never been really good with boundaries. So when there are deadlines, I will, um, up until recently, I've gotten a lot better with it, but I would work Saturday, Sunday. I would stay at the office till 10 o'clock coding through something.

[00:26:53] Carol: I would spend my day helping my team only to then spend eight hours after work writing my own code. Right. So I'm, I'm not like Tim and. I have always been pretty much the opposite of that. So that's been a learned, a learned skill that's still developing.

[00:27:11] Ben: I was just going to say that one thing that Tim said, and I don't know if this is kind of a side effect of what he does is that he forces everyone to get on the same page about why something is, is happening or why something is being done a certain way.

[00:27:26] Ben: And I think that's, can go so far to helping prevent. Burnout, because part of the burnout in my mind is I have a perspective of the world, kind of what Adam's talking about, and everyone else has a different perspective. And I'm not a crazy person. And like, I don't understand why you don't see it my way.

[00:27:46] Ben: And it's very frustrating and it's very demoralizing in a sense, and to force people to stop and have the conversation about why we don't see it the same way. Help me understand, you know, help me help you. And, and, and, and when you can get someone to, to articulate why it is that they're prioritizing a certain set of things or deprioritizing the things that you feel are important, sometimes in that conversation, you can understand that perspective.

[00:28:16] Ben: Okay. I, I never thought about it that way before, but that makes sense. Or you, maybe you can say, I really still think my ideas are very important and we need to figure out why it is that you don't feel that they're important. I

[00:28:29] Tim: agree. Yeah. I, and, and I think in, in our industry, there is sort of a badge of honor burning out, right?

[00:28:36] Tim: I, it's people sometimes brag about it. Um, particularly, I know none of us are in the video game industry, but I know that. That is an area, that industry is one where people just work themselves almost to death, and they wear it like a badge of honor, which I think is a shame. I think it's a cultural thing.

[00:28:56] Tim: I think it's very much an American thing. My wife and her family, they're from Europe, and you know, they're all about the month long vacation in August, and in Americans, you know, it's like, They just, they feel you should always be working or else there's no purpose to life. So I don't, yeah, I think that's something that we have to address as an industry and as a culture that there's nothing honorable about killing yourself from work.

[00:29:23] Tim: Either work to live or you live to work, but you know, you gotta, you gotta choose that. Um,

[00:29:30] Adam: And I think that cause it's not sustainable.

[00:29:32] Carol: It's not. Yeah. You crash real quick. And for me, I felt guilty after it was all said and done because I had this team under me that I had now set this expectation for.

[00:29:45] Carol: That I'm going to work Saturday and Sunday and if you're not here, then you can be sure someone's going to notice that you're not here working and she is. That there's four or five people helping with this project and you should be giving up just as much as she is or it's noticed. So then not only am I taking myself down in this process, I'm also taking my team down by Right.

[00:30:06] Carol: Having this unhealthy.

[00:30:08] Adam: That's a good point for people that, that do have, you know, some amount of authority or, or, um, people working under them setting a good example is, uh, is important.

[00:30:19] Carol: So now I'm very much about, it's 530. I'm signing out. If, if there is something critical, my phone will ring, but that's it.

[00:30:29] Carol: And you need to have gone through the chain of like command through everybody else before you call me.

[00:30:35] Ben: Absolutely. I mean, it's, do you want me to come to the office tomorrow? And do crap, or do you want me to come to the office tomorrow and be ready to rock? Because if I stay late, it's not going to be the ready to

[00:30:45] Carol: rock option.

[00:30:46] Carol: Or I'm not going to come in until lunch anyways. Because I'm going to now get my four hours back because I want to spend that time with my family or doing what I needed to accomplish when I couldn't because now I had to work.

[00:30:59] Ben: My old, uh, boss. From years ago, Steve Grushkow, he used to say that it's a marathon, not a sprint.

[00:31:07] Ben: And it's, it's, I

[00:31:08] Adam: think there's this perfect, there's

[00:31:10] Ben: this imaginary, there's this imaginary idea that if you can just work a little bit faster, you'll be way better than everybody else. But there's, you know, you can look at every company, every product and the really successful ones. are rarely the first in market or rarely, you know, been around the longest.

[00:31:31] Ben: There's always been people who've come before and failed. It's, it's not, there's not this perfect moment in time where you can succeed.

[00:31:42] Tim: Yeah. And, you know, it's, you can't doing more doesn't always lead to better results.

[00:31:48] Carol: No, I typically see the opposite.

[00:31:53] Tim: Very true. So, I mean, we've talked a little bit about it.

[00:31:58] Tim: So how, how does it affect you, um, when you have mental exhaustion or burnout? What, what, what does it feel like for, for those maybe who, who haven't faced it? Although I think most people have, but you know, how does it manifest in you?

[00:32:14] Carol: I mean, I think Ben said it great. I mean, imagining, you know, I hate to say this, but imagine a grown man, you know, I mean, I like imagine like, okay, I'm going to say my dad, like imagine my dad bent over the toilet trying to breathe in something cold from the porcelain, like that panic, that much anxiety that he can't breathe.

[00:32:38] Carol: That makes me want to cry. It makes my heart hurt to think of my father that way. Yeah. It'd be at that state to where he can't breathe from what's going on. Like that's, that's intense.

[00:32:50] Adam: I get, uh, anxiety from different things and, and I think more so from things outside of work and since the pandemic started, but, um, I, I can.

[00:33:00] Adam: I can see the parallels between the two and what happens for me is like, I get so exhausted, mentally exhausted from having to deal with things that are coming up and, and whatever the problem is to the point where even when there's no more problems. I, you know, I sit down to do work and I just can't think straight.

[00:33:20] Adam: I can't make a single decision to pick what to work on or to, um, to, to do anything. And there have been times when like, I, uh, my anxiety from regular life has, has bled over and I've just had to like, send my boss a note, like, look, I need to take. A personal day today, and I would just lay on a couch and watch TV.

[00:33:41] Adam: And I was getting angry with myself because I couldn't even focus on the TV show. Like I needed, I needed to do something. Needed to have something going on, but I couldn't, I couldn't even focus on a TV show that I like to watch that I've put on a million times. I watched Scrubs, uh, and. And, uh, I couldn't even, I couldn't even watch it.

[00:34:02] Adam: Like it just, my mind, it's like, my mind was telling me you have to be doing something. I, you know, you're supposed to, you're supposed to be busy. But then when I was trying to let myself relax, I couldn't. So I think for me, it's for me, it's anxiety.

[00:34:13] Ben: Feeling guilty about relaxation is such a unhealthy reaction.

[00:34:20] Ben: And I, and I say that because I have that reaction all the time.

[00:34:24] Carol: So, um, I've been in a lot of therapy, just go ahead and throw that one out there, you know, in case you can't tell, you know, and my name's Carol and I've been to therapy. Um, 1 of the things my therapist has told me at 1 point that I tend to do is I forget to be a human being because I get so stuck on being a human doing that.

[00:34:46] Carol: You have to find that point where you stop being a human doing and just be a human being. You just have to be able to sit in the chair for first 30 seconds, then for a minute, then five minutes, just breathing, you know, then eventually to a room to where you can see distraction and still find your ability to just sit there.

[00:35:05] Carol: And it took me a very long time to be able to sit still for five minutes. Even now I bounce, I move all the time because I feel like there's something wrong. If I am not, yeah. If I'm not fidgeting, if I'm not doing something, I, I feel like I am failing. And I think that's a lot of us in this industry.

[00:35:26] Adam: Yeah.

[00:35:26] Adam: I mean, that's part of that, I think contributes to why I listen to so many podcasts and audio books. Like I gotta, I have to squeeze all of the juice out of every stone that I can, or the water out of every stone that I can, uh, you know, if I'm in the shower, I could be using that to. To listen to five or 10 minutes of a podcast.

[00:35:44] Adam: If I'm driving to the store, that's 10 minutes away. I can listen to 10 minutes of my audio book. Like, why

[00:35:50] Carol: not? But you also need to enjoy the 10 minutes of nothing. You should be able to enjoy that.

[00:35:58] Ben: I will say that I have purchased three separate waterproof speakers. Yeah. To play in the shower. Same reason.

[00:36:05] Ben: So that I could listen to podcasts. They all are terrible and I couldn't hear anything over the water anyway, but it was definitely a, it was that. Here's 10 minutes of time where I'm not doing something in the shower. How can I make that more

[00:36:17] Adam: effective? All right. So now I have to put in my waterproof shower speaker into the show notes as a recommendation because I get great audio quality in my shower and it was like eight bucks or something.

[00:36:27] Adam: They have

[00:36:27] Tim: some now that like a runoff of water power that the water. I saw that one. I don't know if it works, but I thought that's pretty cool.

[00:36:34] Carol: I don't know how y'all do 10 minute showers.

[00:36:38] Adam: Look at how long my hair is.

[00:36:40] Carol: I'm like 45 minutes. It's so warm.

[00:36:45] Adam: I, mine takes 10 minutes if I have to shave.

[00:36:49] Tim: So, so what about recognizing it in others?

[00:36:51] Tim: I mean, all of, all of us have admitted to some level of.

[00:36:58] Tim: So, I was a problem for a lot of people. How do we catch it in others and help them? You know, what are the signs do you think that you can see that, you know, this person looks like they're about to

[00:37:08] Carol: burn out? So, one thing my team told me after the fact, you know, because we were having discussions pretty open about what was going on, is there was a point where they stopped asking me questions.

[00:37:19] Carol: Because I was very reactive. And my temper was pretty bad to where the person who they would come to first, when they had problems or were struggling with something, I became the person they were scared to ask about. So, I feel like on a team, if you see someone who's putting in all these hours, if you see things like contract dates constantly changing and you see this person now go from the most helpful person on the team to you're scared to ask them something, to me that should be a signal that They're burning out and, or even if it's not burnout, they are way too stressed out in what's going on right now and it should be brought to someone's attention.

[00:37:59] Adam: Yeah, so if you're avoiding them, also I would say if they're avoiding other people, if they're avoiding meetings or avoiding social situations or even avoiding their work.

[00:38:10] Carol: Yeah. Yeah, avoidance.

[00:38:12] Tim: Yeah, also if the only way that they can get things done is in reaction to an emergency, it seems like that's become their priority.

[00:38:22] Tim: Yeah, so if they're unable to plan and the only thing they do is just wait for the next fire, which unfortunately in our industry, a lot of times that is sort of the method of operation is just put the fires out every day. But if that is the only way they can get motivated, then perhaps they're

[00:38:40] Carol: burned out.

[00:38:40] Carol: There's a problem. Yeah, could be.

[00:38:43] Ben: I think also people who don't have opinions about work related things. Like, you give them a test, like, fine. I don't care. You think it's the right way? Yeah,

[00:38:53] Tim: sure.

[00:38:54] Carol: Whatever they, yeah, I can see that.

[00:38:58] Tim: Particularly if they had them before.

[00:39:00] Ben: Right. I think, I've never been a manager, so I can, I can't speak from experience here, but I think it would be wrong to assume that people under you will bring things to your attention.

[00:39:16] Carol: It's, to me, it's safer to assume they will not. Yeah, like

[00:39:19] Ben: as, as a manager, you have to be proactively reaching out. How are you doing? What's going on? How can we make your day better? You know, where can we remove friction? Like you have to be digging. To find why someone's unhappy, don't, don't expect them to be able to feel they're not in the right place.

[00:39:38] Ben: Right. And, and it's hard for people to reach out and ask for help.

[00:39:42] Carol: Yeah. In our field in general, um, I would say most of the engineers I work with aren't going to bring it to anyone's attention ever. They're just going to eventually walk out the door. They're not going to come to you and tell you that there's something going on.

[00:39:56] Carol: Most of the times they don't want to talk about it. So as a manager, I think you should be constantly probing to find out, like Ben said, what's going on with your people. You can't just assume they're going to come to you because engineers don't like to talk in general. In general, they're not going to tell you how they're feeling.

[00:40:14] Carol: You have to be able to get that from them. Right. And

[00:40:16] Tim: they might, they might feel embarrassed to talk about it, or might feel that you're going to, that their manager is going to berate them, right? Like, just say, well, suck it up, you know, you're not working hard enough, um, because they already perhaps feel like a bit of a failure because they're struggling.

[00:40:31] Tim: None of us, all of us would like to make it look like it's easy, um, but it's not always easy. It's not.

[00:40:39] Adam: Yeah. That makes me think about the best boss I ever had and how he really did exemplify, like, just, you know, he, he would check in with me daily and it was just sort of like, you know, how's it going? You know, do you need anything?

[00:40:51] Adam: Is there like, is there anything that you're stuck on or, um, you know, do you need something from somebody else in the company and they're, they're dragging their feet, getting you, getting you an answer or anything like that? Just, he was a friction reducing machine and I, I still talk, I haven't worked for him for.

[00:41:09] Adam: Uh, gosh, maybe 15 years. And I still have lunch with him regularly. I mean, not as much now with the pandemic, but like we talk over email constantly. And um, you know, he, even though he was my boss, we just developed this awesome friendship 'cause he was just an awesome person. That's great.

[00:41:31] Ben: And, and just speaking about the pandemic, and this is slightly off topic ish. But I think we all have mechanisms for the way we cope with work stress and it's certainly, I'm sure for many of us, those safe spaces are not available currently. Like, one of my safe spaces was, uh, just walking through Bed Bath Beyond.

[00:41:54] Carol: Yeah, it smells so good in there.

[00:41:56] Ben: It's a great store. Just like random stuff, it's very satisfying to just walk through. Or the container store. Oh, that one's awesome! But like, I'm not gonna walk into a container store for fun right

[00:42:06] Carol: now. No, it's too stressful. So what do you, what do you do then to like, to de stress?

[00:42:15] Carol: Cause I mean, I think that's key. I think that is. Project

[00:42:18] Adam: Huge.

[00:42:21] Ben: You know, thank goodness for Netflix and Hulu and Amazon Prime right now, honestly.

[00:42:26] Carol: Yeah, to me, that's, that's been what I've done too, is I've picked up a few shows to watch and it's kind of helped me too, because I'm like, okay, it's okay to just sit and hang out.

[00:42:34] Carol: Like, that's fine to relax. Puppies.

[00:42:38] Tim: Puppies. Thank God for puppies. Yes. We got little pug puppies.

[00:42:42] Carol: No, we need pictures.

[00:42:44] Tim: I'll put some up. So how do we stay productive then? I mean, you know, burnout, you know, it's a thing, but I mean, how do we be productive? How do we keep ourselves from getting burned out? What do you say, Adam?

[00:42:58] Tim: So,

[00:42:59] Adam: um, I think that the burnout metaphor is very, to me at least, I find it very apt. I feel like... Um, you know, when I think of burnout, I think like you've burned through all of your fuel and there's nothing left to burn. So you, you might want to, uh, be productive, but you just don't have anything in the tank to make that possible.

[00:43:20] Adam: And so when I think of like, okay, how I've, I'm burned out and I need to fix this, what do I do? Uh, and I think of it from the perspective of how do I put. Fuel back in the tank. And for me, I think that's going to be different for most people, or at least a bunch of different categories. But I think for me that tends to be, um, quiet and, um, spending time in nature.

[00:43:42] Adam: I went on a hike, um, uh, not too long ago and just being out in the woods in the quiet and enjoying the sunshine on my face and no earbuds in my ears. And the breeze and it was wonderful and I went on like a three mile hike and uh, you know, I saw some people out there were doing the same thing and, and it really, it felt amazing.

[00:44:06] Adam: Like, I, you know, obviously circumstances are a little different now with the pandemic. And I've been a little bit more cooped up than I would normally be, which is normally quite a bit. Um, but the, just, it was almost a spiritual experience for me, like going out and going on that hike. And I said, when I got home that I needed to do that more often.

[00:44:27] Adam: And of course I haven't, but I, you know, I'm, I'm going to commit. I'm going to try to do that again soon before the end of the year. And, uh, so if I don't make it by the end of the year, that's going to have to be my end of the year fail. But yeah, so, so do find something that makes you feel good about having done it and putting that for me, that puts something back in the tank.

[00:44:50] Adam: Carol said

[00:44:51] Ben: something earlier that I think she tapped into something that's super powerful, which is tiny goals, right? She talked about, let me just sit 30 seconds and then a minute and then two minutes. And, and to me, the, the fuel that Adam's talking about that allows you to, to be more productive, part of the fuel that allows me personally to overcome burnout is accomplishment.

[00:45:16] Ben: And if I can set a tiny goal and then achieve that goal, then that starts to become this kind of rolling thunder of me pulling myself out of a dark place. And it can be super silly things like I have 40 tabs open in the browser. That's ridiculous. Let me get that down to five tabs. And I'm just going to spend 15 minutes organizing my browser tabs, or I'm going to look through my task backlog and see if there's anything I can move to a higher priority or lower priority.

[00:45:44] Ben: I mean. Things that are not challenging, but give you something that you can achieve. Getting down

[00:45:51] Adam: to inbox zero.

[00:45:53] Tim: Let me ask you guys, have any of you ever tried mindfulness meditation?

[00:45:58] Carol: What

[00:45:58] Tim: does that mean? So, mindfulness meditation, you know, a lot of people have the idea of meditation as like, you know, just clearing your mind, sitting in a, you know, with your legs crossed, crisscross applesauce, going om.

[00:46:10] Tim: Mindfulness is just, it's, it's breathing, it's sort of breathing exercises, but it is clearing your mind, but it's just... What I do when I do mindfulness meditation is just breathing into the nose, you know, counting to four or five and then breathing out. So you have to breathe out longer than you breathe in.

[00:46:31] Tim: And so this Just doing that and then thinking from the top of your head, you focus on a part of your body. So I usually start at the top of my head and I just sort of imagine a scanner and slowly I think about every part of my body like my eyelashes, my eyes, my nose, my lip, all the way down to the bottom of my toes and It takes five minutes, ten minutes, I mean, however long it takes, um, not really thinking about anything other than just really focusing on something unimportant like your, your body, your mind, and that just kind of clears a sort of a mental inbox zero to clear your mind, and then that, that, that is, uh, Back a few years ago, I had heart surgery, and I had to find a way to lower my heart rate because my heart was racing.

[00:47:18] Tim: And so doing that helped kind of center myself whenever my heart would race. So I just, yeah, I think it's a good way to kind of clear your mind and center yourself. Carol, what do you think?

[00:47:33] Carol: Yeah. So if you have audible, there's actually a free like book that you can get through there. And, um, one of them is that it's of the meditation that you're talking of.

[00:47:45] Carol: And I realized that when I started doing it, I couldn't make it more than a couple of minutes in without falling asleep. So I don't know if that's good or bad. But I've just realized like I'm able to relax. So once I'm a couple minutes in, I'm like, Oh, why am I dozing off? And now it's already like done playing.

[00:48:00] Carol: I was only at my shoulders. Darn it.

[00:48:03] Adam: It's funny. I was thinking, I was thinking that I would say no, right? Like I've, I have never done the mindfulness meditation because I know I would be terrible at it. I can't sit, uh, and, and not have something going on in my mind ever. But when you started describing.

[00:48:22] Adam: The way you go down your body that reminded me that I used to specifically do that trick to fall asleep. I'd be laying in bed and I did it the other way. So I would start with my toes and I would just think about relaxing that muscle. And if I couldn't isolate that muscle and relax it, I would clench it instead.

[00:48:38] Adam: And then that would let me then relax it. So I'd start with my toes and work like, okay, think through like the arch of your foot and your calf and work your way up. And I swear, I don't think I ever made it past my knees.

[00:48:49] Carol: Like. And that was, yeah, just out.

[00:48:52] Tim: Yeah. What was interesting when I was researching that meditation is people that who smoke a lot of times, the relaxation that they get from smoking isn't necessarily, of course, you know, nicotine's a drug and they're, they're addicted to it, but the actual, the breathing in when you're puffing is really That's really what most of the relaxation that comes from smoking is, the actual doing the deep breathing exercise.

[00:49:17] Tim: Oh, interesting. So, yeah, do that without the nicotine, it's even

[00:49:21] Adam: better. So, like, get a vape pen but don't put anything in it? Yeah, well,

[00:49:27] Tim: then it's like... Now you're going to get, what's that, uh, sponge lung, or I don't know what they call that, where you get pneumonia from,

[00:49:32] Adam: from the vapors. That just looks gross anyway.

[00:49:35] Adam: Yeah. I'm going to have to cut that out. I don't want to judge people. I know.

[00:49:41] Tim: It was a joke I heard about vaping that, uh, um, the, you know, these people with the, with the flavored vape pens. That you walk into a room, you're like, Oh my God, is that cookies and cream? No, it's just Jeff and his cloud of lies.

[00:49:57] Tim: Yes. And, um, another thing, have you guys ever heard of the spoon theory? No, not the matrix bin.

[00:50:08] Tim: So, so Spood Theory is, um, Christine Miserandino wrote an essay in 2003 talking about she had lupus, and she tries to explain what it's like to have lupus to someone who, you know, doesn't have lupus, um, because with lupus you, you know, you look healthy, you don't look I'm not sick from the outside, but you know, it saps your energy.

[00:50:31] Tim: There's lots of pain involved. And she related to that, you know, that pretend that your, your energy levels are broken up into spoons. So every day you get a certain number of spoons and for her it was, she had 12 spoons, right? So throughout the day, anytime she had to do something that required energy, she had to spend a spoon.

[00:50:51] Tim: And when she spent that spoon, it was gone for the day. There's no way to get more than 12 spoons. You know, she, throughout the day, she spends it, and then it's the end of the day, she has one spoon left. And she's hungry and eating is going to take energy, but then she also has to cook. So, so all of us have to know really how many spoons we have in life.

[00:51:12] Tim: All of us have a different energy level. Um, that's just natural. Some people have a lot more energy. Some people have less energy, just for whatever reason. If you don't know how many spoons you have, there's no way to budget how much to spend during the day. And burnout, I think, comes whenever you try to spend more spoons.

[00:51:29] Tim: Now, sometimes you can force yourself to spend 13 spoons. That's coming from somewhere. That's coming from tomorrow. You're going to pay for it. You're going to pay for it. That, that's going to come out of tomorrow. You're not tomorrow. You only have 11 spoons as you spend 13 spoons again. And eventually you're going to reach terminal burnout where you just crash because you have gone through all your spoons.

[00:51:48] Tim: So just knowing how many spoons you have. And then, you know, if someone asks you to do something, you're like, Oh man, sorry, I'm out of spoons. Ben, how many spoons you got?

[00:51:58] Ben: Well, so I, I used to think I had more spoons than I do. And, uh, And I used to get less sleep and I was tired all the time to the point where people would tease me at work for complaining about tired.

[00:52:13] Ben: I'd be like, Oh, I'm so tired. And like, Oh, that's a surprise. You're tired. You're always tired. And, uh, and a couple of years ago, I started getting another hour of sleep and it was transformative. I can't tell you how much better I feel all the time getting an additional hour of sleep. And I would have never guessed that it would have had such a huge difference that I, I just needed, I needed to sleep that additional spoon into my drawer, so to speak.

[00:52:41] Tim: Yeah. You're like Post Malone, you tattooed on your eyelids.

[00:52:46] Tim: Spoons, always tired.

[00:52:51] Carol: That's a good way to think about it because it is, it really is. Like you only have so many and if you use from your supply, eventually that drawer is going to be empty. There's going to be no more spoons left in the drawer to take out. So you're just done. You're standing there needing to accomplish a task with nothing to hand in for it.

[00:53:11] Adam: And when you borrow them, I guess sometimes you might have to pay them back with interest. Yeah. Yeah,

[00:53:15] Tim: definitely. So, I mean, you know, if your manager's asking you for more spoons than you got, you know, we, we like to blame maybe our managers sometimes for that, but they don't know how many spoons you have.

[00:53:26] Tim: Yeah. You know, they might have. You gotta tell them. 50 spoons and you only got 25. If you don't tell them. You know, part of that is, is, is on you for, for not letting them know. I don't think, most managers, I don't think want to run their people ragged. They all want to do right by them, but they also want to get the job done.

[00:53:43] Tim: Um, so it, it, it's on us to let them know, um, before we burn out, that we're burning out, so that something can be done. Right. Because like Carol said, sometimes our best people just pick up and leave. Oh yeah. And we don't know why.

[00:54:02] Ben: I am very jealous of the so called short sleepers. short sleepers are people who just need less sleep.

[00:54:09] Ben: Yeah. Uh, I don't know how they do it. It's people who sleep like four or five hours a night. Yeah. And are highly productive.

[00:54:16] Adam: The people that get up at four 30 every morning and, and go to bed at 10 or 11 o'clock at night. Yeah. I wish what I could do with those two hours. Yeah. Right.

[00:54:25] Carol: Oh, so jealous. I usually can stay up till midnight and then if I need to be up at 4 35, I'm good to go.

[00:54:31] Carol: But if I don't, if I don't have like a goal or something I have to accomplish, then I'm like seven.

[00:54:38] Ben: One thing that I wanted to say is that I think when we're feeling mentally exhausted, we, or I sometimes feel like it's my fault. Like I'm just not focusing enough or I'm just not trying hard enough or, or, or what it, it, it feels like a personal failure.

[00:54:58] Ben: And, um, Elizabeth Gilbert, who's the author of Eat, Pray, Love, she did a TED talk called, uh, the elusive creative genius. And it's a very interesting talk. And she talks about, um, The ancient Greeks used to think of creative genius as literally this other being that would sometimes inhabit your body at, at, and that they didn't necessarily know where it came from.

[00:55:26] Ben: And they couldn't claim credit for it. That when they produced wonderful works of art or literature that it was. It was them, but it was really also this other genius being that was helping them and that there was this, uh, that there's a certain degree of freedom that you get from, from accepting that there are things about our creativity that we don't understand and that we don't necessarily know how to harness them all the time.

[00:55:52] Ben: And, and she talks about how. It's been very helpful for her where she'll show up to work and she doesn't necessarily feel motivated, but she's like, I showed up, I put in the hours and like, if my genius doesn't show up, that's kind of on him because I'm doing the work. And, um, I think there's a, there's something very freeing about feeling.

[00:56:15] Ben: That it's not, it's not your fault. It's not a failure to not feel motivated.

[00:56:22] Adam: That sounds like a good Ted talk. Yeah.

[00:56:24] Ben: Yeah, it was good. I mean, it's very interesting for her too, because she, she's acknowledging that she wrote this, Eat Pray Love, this globally massively successful book, and it will probably be the most successful thing she's ever done in her life.

[00:56:39] Ben: And she's like, and I probably have 40 more years of writing in me. So how do I even approach the next 40 years knowing I'll never be as successful as I, as I have been

[00:56:48] Tim: recently? Yeah. It's actually kind of, it sounds like, you know, out of the Christian tenet that, uh, um, of, of receiving blessings from God, but you know, God, God blesses, helps those who help themselves.

[00:57:00] Tim: And so in other words, you gotta put forth the effort in order to, to get the blessing, you know, you're not going to get any blessing just to sit around doing nothing. So. If you, if you want the genius to come, you got to do the work, and maybe the genius will show up, is kind of what I heard

[00:57:16] Carol: you saying.

[00:57:18] Carol: Yeah, because he was saying, you know, she would show up for work and if it didn't happen, she still did her part.

[00:57:25] Ben: And it actually, uh, again, dovetails with this other, I want to read this full quote because everybody, not everybody, but a lot of people have heard the quote, Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work, but that's just the first line in a larger quote.

[00:57:39] Ben: And I feel like the larger quote adds a bunch of interesting context. So the full quote, like Chuck Close. is inspirations for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work, and the belief that things will grow out of the activity itself, and that you will, through work, bump into other possibilities and kick open other doors that you would have never dreamt, or if you were just sitting around looking for a great Uh, for a great art idea and the belief that process in a sense is liberating that you don't have to reinvent the wheel every day.

[00:58:11] Ben: Today you know what you'll do. You could be doing what you were doing yesterday and tomorrow you are going to do what you did today. And at least for a certain period of time, you can just work. And if you hang in there, you will get somewhere.

[00:58:24] Adam: It's impressive that you have that memorized. Wow.

[00:58:31] Ben: But I think, again, speaking to this.

[00:58:34] Ben: Small goals, achievable iterations. Uh, what did Tim call it? The blessings from God. It's, it's all about this just. Move and do, and, and it'll happen eventually. And you have to have a faith in a sense that, that, that, that it will come.

[00:58:58] Tim: It reminds me a bit of part of the reason I'm really tired today is, uh, Brandon Sanderson just released the, one of his Stormlight Chronicle books.

[00:59:06] Tim: It's like huge, giant volume. And my daughter and I have been competing to see who could finish it first. And so I've been staying up way too late. Reading the book. Um, but I mean, Brandon Sanders. Using those spoons. That's right, using up those spoons. It's a weekend. but uh Part of Brandon Sanders, he's such a prolific writer and he writes so much and there's such big books and he writes And he's always on time Um him he reminds me him and Isaac Asimov They just have a schedule.

[00:59:36] Tim: They just show up every day and they just write. They have a certain word count. They're just going to write, write, write. And you know, some days what he writes, you know, he says isn't great, but that's all right as long as he's writing. And then the end result is, you know, it gets cleaned up in the edit that it's, you know, a work that he's proud of.

[00:59:53] Tim: So yeah, I can, I can see that. But I also want to challenge it, you know, sometimes not doing anything's okay. Right? Yeah, I think we as a society just really focus too much on work. Um, it's okay to, you know, to relax. Relaxation is a lost art, I think.

[01:00:14] Carol: Yeah. My parents were always big on, Sunday we don't do anything.

[01:00:20] Carol: Sunday is your day of rest. It's, we're not, mom's not cooking a big lunch. Mom's not cooking a big dinner. Um, we're going to have sandwiches and chips and we're just going to be a family. And I think that's something we've kind of lost the, the just sit and have a day when everybody does nothing.

[01:00:43] Tim: And then, you know, finally, I would say if, if you are at the point where you are so burned out, you don't know what to do.

[01:00:49] Tim: And. Bad, bad thoughts start showing up in your mind. You start, you know, thinking about retreating from reality and life. Definitely get help. Um, burnout. Can be a sign of depression and depression. Yeah, there's no shame in getting help and none and taking medication for it, you know Mental health problems are health problems.

[01:01:12] Tim: And so when you have health problems go see the doctor and there's no shame in seeing the doctor So if you have mental health problems, or if you're afraid you might have mental health problems definitely get help

[01:01:23] Adam: And the first stop on the list there is your primary care doctor.

[01:01:29] Carol: Plus with COVID, they've made it a lot easier to get help.

[01:01:32] Carol: So, I mean, you can just log onto a website and talk to a therapist. You don't even have to leave your home. You can have a video chat with someone, you know, within a few hours. So they've definitely made it a lot easier to get help for mental health issues.

[01:01:48] Tim: I just think that there's a certain amount of stigma and shame that people tie to that causes people to be afraid to talk about it because they feel like it's a failure, but just as you know, it's not, you know, if you get cancer, that's not a failure.

[01:02:01] Tim: It's not, it's, it's cancer. So if you have mental health problems, that's not your fault. Just get the needed help.

[01:02:09] Adam: So it's a different type of disease. Yeah.

[01:02:13] Carol: This has been a good topic. Yeah. It's been a really, it's been a really good discussion. I

[01:02:19] Tim: think so. I think we're doing good work here.

[01:02:22] Carol: All right. Well, we've had a really good topic today.

[01:02:25] Carol: Really good discussions. And I really am glad to have you guys and to, you know, be able to have open conversations with you about everything going on. And I'm really grateful for everyone who listened today. I hope you enjoyed it. Yeah,

[01:02:38] Tim: it was very enjoyable. Appreciate everyone's thoughts on it. And definitely, if you've enjoyed listening to this, please share this podcast with a friend.

[01:02:45] Tim: What we need right now is word of mouth referrals. Just tell a friend and let them know that you. And if

[01:02:53] Ben: you're still feeling generous after that, please rate us on iTunes or wherever you happen to get your podcasts. It would really help us get that, that word out.

[01:03:02] Carol: Four stars, five stars. How many stars can you get?

[01:03:04] Carol: Well,

[01:03:04] Adam: see, that's the thing is iTunes, I heard there's this bug where, um, you can only actually rate us five stars right now. They're working on it. They're going to try and fix it, but it's broken. So don't even bother with trying the other ones.

[01:03:15] Carol: It's a feature.

[01:03:17] Adam: Just don't worry about it. Just click the five.

[01:03:19] Adam: We'll let you know when it gets fixed. And if you have a topic suggestion for us, you can find us on Twitter or Instagram at WorkingCodePod, send us a message there and maybe we'll talk about what you suggest.

[01:03:53] Ben: Yo, when Tim was talking about Getting everybody at work on the same page, he said something like, I have a particular set of skills.

[01:04:05] Ben: All I could think about was Liam Neeson. I don't know who you are.

[01:04:08] Adam: I will

[01:04:09] Tim: find you. I don't know why you assigned me this task. Yeah.

[01:04:15] Adam: It was in your backlog.

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