Here is a good definition I found:
burnout: The low moral or hopelessness stakeholders feel because of churn, overwork, unrealistic goals, and/or inadequate support. People stop trying because they feel like they've tried and failed, or their work is meaningless or unappreciated.
So, burnout for me would have to involve churn, overwork, unrealistic goals, and/or inadequate support/lack of appreciation.
I definitely do not get the feeling of churn. I do not feel like I am spinning my wheels. Asktom is something with momentum. The books are too. What I do in seminars is very forward moving. Even a sales call has it’s moments. Working with a customer on site or over the phone – very gratifying. I get the feeling that what I do day to day is moving forward. A lot of it is education, here is how it works and why it works that way sort of stuff. That avoids the churn.
Overwork. Depends on who you ask. I still find time to read books I want to read. Go to soccer games (my son’s team lost yesterday, 0 to 1, it was a tough game – my daughters team won 3 to 2, she scored one). Visit science fairs, watch TV, seeing my daughter ride in a horse show, watching the kids play basketball, seeing the school plays, normal stuff… Waiting for summer now, 1 hour a week on the tractor cutting grass – nothing to do but turn the wheel and watch out for rocks.
Unrealistic Goals – I set my own, so they aren’t unrealistic. My goal is to make people successful with this database stuff. That is why many times my answer to a question is “why” – I want to get to the bottom of what they are doing and give them advice on the best way to do that. Not just tell them how to do what they think they need to be doing. Call it presumptuous if you want but almost every time – they didn’t really want to do what they thought they did. And the rest of the time, I come to the conclusion they really did what they wanted to do and I tell them how. I don’t take on more than I can finish (usually :).
Unappreciated – hardly. The feedback I receive is phenomenal. The feedback on the books, on the site, on the seminars – I’ve never felt unappreciated. Not since my first usenet posting in October 1994 and many thousands later. I remember doing an Oracle User Group meeting in Albany New York. The guy introducing me pulled out a piece of paper, it was one of my very first usenet postings – I had answered his question some 8 or 9 years before – and he remembered that, and pointed it out. It was a pretty good feeling.
So, I guess until I feel that I’m starting to churn, no burnout issues. And I don’t see churn happening soon, I think the methods are catching on. I love it when someone posts something that looks like I could have written it. With the example, the measurement, and the interpretation of the data. I don't feel overworked (not yet)… I don't have unrealistic goals, and I am definitely not feeling unappreciated (not even close on that one, thank you all very much) burnout isn’t going to be an issue.
Trust me, I take time away from this stuff. It is not the only thing I do. But I like what I do and that is probably the most important thing.