Developer burnout? It is real. More and more we hear talks about mental health and “overwhelm” at work, anxiety, depression, etc. It is the disease of current times.

If your team doesn’t have a protocol to deal with such situations, it may happen that people on the team feel stressed and they don’t know what to do about it. 

In some cases it may be recommended to visit an expert but in many situations perhaps having a simple protocol can help coping. Here is our recommendation for a simple protocol to implement on your team.

Talk to someone on the team

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, sad, frustrated or angry those can be signals worth considering. The first step you should take is talking to your team leads. If you’re a team lead (and don’t have anyone above) then you should seek a person on the team which you can talk to [1] . 

Just talking your issue with someone will help immensely towards improving your state. 

The output of the talk should be some kind of solution/plan. The solution may involve reducing workload, off-loading responsibilities, cutting back on some toxic client or other steps. Use your teammate to brainstorm ideas but keep in mind you know yourself better than anyone and thus it should be your decision in the end on what will be done to change. 

Overwhelm may not have to do with the amount of work you have – others can have more work and not feel stressed about it – but we all have a limit before we start feeling stressed and feeling like we’re falling behind or feeling overwhelm and not knowing what to do.

Ask yourself these questions

How can I reduce the number of TODO’s I currently have? Can I reschedule some of them? Can I simply drop or eliminate some of them without consequences? Who can help me?

  • How can I find work I enjoy?
  • Which work do I enjoy doing?
  • Which type of work fulfills me?
  • Which type of work energizes me instead of draining me?

Make written notes with your answers and make them transparent to your collegues. If they are aware of the type of work you enjoy then they can start sending you that kind of work. 

Read about methodologies

In order to deal to reduce your levels of stress/overwhelm you may be interested in researching and implementing one of the following methodologies that are known to increase productivity and happiness at the workplace:

Don’t beat yourself up and try to relax

You’re probably putting too much pressure on yourself – try to relax by heavy breathing, drinking water, going for a walk frequently, meditating, exercising, yoga, stretching, hearing music, dancing, painting, outdoor activities, swimming, etc. With the constant hustle it is easy to start loosing perspective of things and start focusing on what’s missing.  


The central purpose of any business should be to provide a satisfying, worthwhile life to those involved. If somehow this isn’t happening then you can be assured that it is in the business best interest to change. No company will benefit from having a burnout person on the team. If you’re not feeling well then it is definitely worth looking into it and taking action in order to change things. It is our responsibility to take care of ourselves and companies and teams are there to support us. 

[1] any person on the team can help. As long as it is someone that you feel confortable talking to.

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