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By Chandrama Anderson

Silicon Valley Burnout?

Uploaded: May 6, 2022

Psychologists Herbert Freudenberger & Gail North identified the concept of burnout in the 1970s and assigned it 12 stages of development and experience.

Do you see yourself here? It may not go in linear order. If you don’t recognize yourself on this chart, does your partner identify you on it? Your co-workers? Keep your cool if they do! I’m pretty sure you hide it, possibly even from yourself. I encourage you to actually look for it, and take steps to help yourself (and your family, friends, and co-workers by extension).

The very culture of Silicon Valley is set up for burnout. As I see so many burned out clients, it makes me think about Unions, which were created in 1794 to protect workers. A Stanford research study, The Productivity of Working Hours by John Pencavel, revealed that working more than 50 hours/week decreases your productivity, and after 55 hours, you may as well not bother.

As my good friend and colleague, Howard Scott Warshaw, author of Atari: Game Over, and The Inspired Therapist says: “Silicon Valley is where the world’s best, brightest and most ambitious people come to be merely average.”

The first thing you can do is recognize your burnout. Next, get help to make changes. The reason I’m recommending getting help is that if you could have prevented this on your own, you would have. At the same time, create a list of self-care to follow. I looked online for self-care lists to share with you. Ironically, I found lists of 50 and 100 things to do for self-care. Which may scare you away (since you don’t have enough time as it is)! Here’s a Psychology Today article with a self-care list.

As you know, I believe your “primary” relationship actually needs to be primary--meaning it’s your top priority. I realize this may feel or seem that you’re turning your life upside down. And in a way it is.

There are serious health risks associated with burnout. No one but you can decide to change your life. I invite you to be healthier and have a better life.

Let me know how it goes.