I’m only getting 1 to 2 hours of productive work per day done at work. This used be 4-7 hours per day.

What I do know is it’s not burnout.

It’s important for me to fix this. What else should I be looking at?

@celia More sleep? I'm a bit like this right now and I'm convinced it's a sleep thing

@Shrigglepuss @celia For me the weather influences my productivity (at least that's what I like to believe).

I second the sleep theory. Going to bed early and on consistent times has helped me immensely.

@Shrigglepuss @celia Sleep probably is a factor for me too. This month I am experimenting with starting work two hours later than usual.

@celia Kind of hard to guess without any background information but I can at least share my story.

About 7 years ago I went through a burnout. Nothing special about that but just wanted to note that I've experienced burned and what came next was not burnout for sure.

In 2018 my baby daughter was born and it changed my life drastically. For the better and for the worse. The good part is that, well, I have an amazing young daughter and an awesome wife to share my life with...

@celia ...The bad part is that it essentially changed everything about my life and ripped me out of my comfort zone, which triggered something in me that slowly eroded my productivity and the clearness of my mind. Before I knew it, I was down to 20 hours of work a week, then 15, then 10, then 5... and it wasn't even productive work. At some points I was just staring at the screen and my code for hours trying to remember what I was doing.

I decided to stop working and work on myself instead...

@celia I was diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder and panic disorder and have been fighting it for 3 years now. For about 7 months of that period I've been off work and in occupational therapy. Thanks to that I could apply for "therapy salary" from the government run insurance "company". (I live in Iceland) and I just recently managed to extend it to 3 or 4 more months.

I am starting to experiment with getting back to work and I am clearly seeing some progress, But still just babysteps...

@celia One thing that actually made things worse is that the meds I was on (Sertral and then Venlafaxin) because of my disorders actually somehow negatively affected my cognitive abilities. Turning me from "barely able to work" to "not able to work at all".

So that is another thing to consider. If you are on strong meds, I would recommend keeping a meds/sickness diary or something to try to find out if you need to finetune/replace your meds. (and obviously, consult a professional about it)

@1ll173r47 Any work that’s a part of my job description. Which is yes, primarily coding.

@celia Could also be lack of some vitamins (like vitamin D, B12, or else)

Over here in the northern Germany it's quite usual to have a low level of vitamin D over the winter term, and as always we have a special compound word for this in German: Winterdepression (seasonal affective disorder).

However, I don't think that you should suffer from this in India, but maybe better check your vitalmin and minerals level...

@ij thats quite possible… I’m on D and B12 as well though I’m hardly regular with either…

@celia Kinda in the same boat. Being home for 2+ years now without any travel is taking a toll on me. When travel resumes, I'd probably be able to do better.

@aruns I’ve always been fully remote. Been 4 years. Now fully vaccinated and not necessarily “travelling” but yes, mobility is not an issue, so it doesn’t hit me as much anymore…

@celia Good for you! Fully remote here as well, but travel every quarter was a huge perk and something that took my mind away from the busyness at work.

You are not alone. I wish I could offer better advice, but I'm dealing with this very same myself and there are two things I've considered:

1. It actually is burnout
2. I just don't enjoy the work I'm doing anymore



The only thing I've tried that has helped is applying the pomodoro technique --25 minutes of focused worked, followed by a 5 minute break with a 15 minute break after every 3 tasks.
I plan out tasks at the beginning of the day, assign each task a number of pomodoros, and STICK TO IT. If I didn't "finish" a task in the given number of pomodoros, then I still just move on to the next one and come back to the unfinished task on the next day.


@nebunez Interesting to see how you use pomodoro that way. That’s probably better than forcing the issue.

@celia Yeah, it's really helpful to prevent banging my head against the wall on a problem, or just keeping my tasks time-boxed. I'm very capable of wasting time on both of these things.

@celia Have you accidentally become an unofficial manager?

Management is the biggest time suck.

@urusan That was true for a bit. But now I’m largely back to what I am officially required to do.

It’s not a case of time sink as much as it is of not being able to work past 1-2 hours. At all.

@celia Maybe you should make a blood test. It could be an iron-deficiency anemia. That would fit the symptoms you describe.

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