Crunch Mode and Burnout

Several times a year, it seems, I send around the link to Evan Robinson’s “Why Crunch Mode Doesn’t Work”. This time it was prompted by students who are trying to hold down full-time jobs while working on extracurricular projects that are almost as demanding. I recently came across this post on “Burnout” that I’ll include in future mailings; it talks about how good intentions lead to ever-lower performance due to fatigue, and what can be done about it.

I’m also going to start sending a link to “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments”. The authors showed that the less competent people are, the more likely they are to over-estimate their competence. Similarly, the more tired/burned out people are, the less able they are to recognize it—just think of how you felt the last time you were coding at 3:00 am, and how you felt about that code the next time you looked at it. The problem, of course, is that someone in the midst of an irrational frenzy is unlikely to listen when you tell them that…

Later: Leigh Honeywell sent links to a Fast Company artice about SAS and some quantiative data on the effect of sleep deprivation on group performance. Why isn’t there a required course on this stuff in first year?