Historically, the tech industry can normally be a high-stress environment for many. However, in the past six months it feels like it’s gone ballistic with layoffs and RTO mandates causing widespread uncertainty and anxiety. Even though I’ve been fortunate to not get directly impacted in the midst of all this chaos, I found myself struggling to manage my mental health, to focus on work, to feel productive, and to find my usual level intrinsic motivation and get stuff done.
While talking about the impact on my mental well-being with my friend and colleague Spencer Voorheis, he sympathized with me and said he’s been feeling the same way. In fact, just about everyone I talk to feels like this to some degree. Spencer went on to say he felt like being dispassionate seemed like one of the ways we could feel better.
So, I tried it. I turned off all information channels (slack, web, etc) containing work and tech industry drama. I felt better almost instantly. I was able to conserve my emotional energy, stay objective, and improve focus. By not getting too emotionally invested in every little detail, I was able to approach situations with a clearer mind and feel more productive. This doesn’t mean that I don’t care about the things happening around me. It simply means that I am being mindful of my emotional energy and choosing to focus on what I can control.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, I encourage you to consider trying intentional dispassion as a way to manage your emotions and improve your mental health. It can be challenging at first, but the benefits were significant for me. I think that by being mindful of our emotions and choosing not to get too caught up in drama and conflict, we might conserve our emotional energy, stay more objective, and maintain a better sense of perspective. This could ultimately help us feel more productive, effective, and centered in our day-to-day lives, both at work and at home.