How to avoid burnouts?
Trying to keep up with all your due dates along with maintaining your social life and taking care of your mental and physical health can sound like an impossible mission, it always seems like something has to fall apart and unfortunately this thing is our health. We keep pushing ourselves way past our limits to keep up with everything going around us thinking it won't affect us but it does, so how do we avoid this? How can we not be burnt out yet also as productive as we can be?
We all feel that 24 hours are not enough for everything we need to do so to make them a bit longer we tend to cut off our sleeping hours from 6-8 hours to about 4 hours thinking it would buy us more time. I tried both, functioning on 6-8 hours and 4 hours of sleep so let me tell you how it went for each one.
6-8 hours made me feel so energetic and focused, I didn't feel tired or sleepy at all for the whole day, I didn't wake up only looking forward to the moment I get to sleep again because I didn't have enough sleep. Subsequently, I worked faster, more efficiently, wasted less time and actually got things done with a clear mind.
4 hours on the other hand made me feel so energetic but only for a couple of hours after I wake up then I slowly catch myself zoning out and trying to rest my body any chance I get which made me waste a lot of time and even take way more time to get things done.
What I'm trying to say is that you can't fool your body into thinking that a couple of hours of sleep is enough, even if it works out for you for some time, one day you just won't get your body to do it and find yourself sleeping for 10 hours or something because you're just too sleep-deprived and tired to wake up.
Set up goals
Believe me I'm the last kind of person to make a timetable for studying/tasks and actually do everything it says, I literally can't. Something I can do though is write in a piece of paper or my mobile notes, whichever suits you, my to-do list for the day, just this day. Only a list with no specific times to do anything because these are just constraints that make us feel stressed for no reason.
It's totally fine to start a task and feel like you're tired of it so you just take a break of it by working on another task then returning back to it and so on. It's what I usually do and it's proving itself to be a very efficient way to get things done so far as you somehow find yourself working on all your tasks in parallel.
Another important thing is that you set logical tasks for the day, don't overwhelm yourself with a lot of tasks that deep down you know you won't be able to finish in just one day! Instead set some tasks that you're sure you can get done and when you finish them you'll feel really accomplished then you're free to whether do an extra task or take the rest of the day off ;)
Sometimes when we have too much to do we totally forget to have some rest, it happens with me all the time, I even forget to eat sometimes :( But this is not how things should be done. We should take a break every at least 2 hours of continuous work, and by a break I don't mean a long one, actually my breaks are usually maximum 15 minutes (sometimes 20 minutes to watch an episode of my favorite show lol) so these short breaks make me feel more in control of my time, I recharge myself in them and get back to whatever I was doing with a clear mind.
Don't lose yourself to breaks though, set a timer that lets you know your break is over to avoid wasting a lot of time. Also, in these short breaks avoid doing something that you can easily get carried away with, do something that you know you won't spend a lot of time on, eventually this will make you feel that you're not just working for the whole day and also not wasting time.
Reward yourself and share your wins
Whenever you finish a big task, make sure to take a big break. It's only fair I promise you won't be wasting anytime but doing this will make you want to finish more and more tasks to get more and more well-deserved big breaks so that you can keep going.
Sharing your wins will also help you greatly in boosting your self-esteem and self-confidence in whatever you do which will make you way more productive because you'll be looking forward to that moment of glory of seeing people, and most importantly yourself, proud of what you've achieved so far.
So this is what I do to avoid being burnt out and I felt like sharing it because I know how hard it can get for anyone, especially in tech field whether you're a student like me, working in the field or doing both (I have mad respect for these people). I know that everything is way easier being said than done but trust me, step by step, you will find yourself easily doing all of this. I hope this is of any help to anyone :)