Tips To Prevent Burnout and Stay Engaged as a CAD Designer, Engineer, Remote Worker, etc..

I’ve spent the majority of my career as a Designer, working at a desk either in an office or remotely for 95% of my last 16 years working.

Being a Designer/Drafter/Engineer can be quite a sedentary and repetitive career.

To stay engaged, healthy, and happy, it’s essential to make an effort to keep active & learn consistently. Over our careers, we’ll go through periods of boredom, low energy, and doubt…

Tasks become familiar, repetitive, and unchallenging.

Days can feel like they’re dragging on.

Health and energy levels feel like they’re always taking a back seat.

Spending every day sitting at a desk can be draining.

All of these thoughts has gone through my mind over my career and some can still crop up, but years ago I made an effort to fix and change many of them for the better.

I’ve gotten tips and advice from mentors as well as learned along the way and in the end the solutions are pretty straightforward.

Here is some of the best advice & tips I’ve learned so far:
  • Make health a priority
    Scheduling workouts, activities, and eating healthier not only improves how you feel every day but also sets us up for less issues as we get older. Exercise and activities help us relieve stress, keep our energy levels consistent and reduce our odds of getting sick.

    Take breaks throughout the day, go for a walk, do a quick workout, and meet up with friends or co-workers for lunchtime activities. It’s easy to skip these but the improvement to your day and overall health is worth it tenfold!

    Also, try to keep a large bottle of water at your desk and finish it at least once or twice throughout the day, I’m 100% guilty of not drinking enough water and instead drinking coffee all day. But having enough water can improve our days in so many ways including added energy and improved overall health.

  • Continue to learn and explore new things
    I try to learn something new as often as possible. Whether it’s through reading, courses, videos or podcasts, it’s easy now to stay curious and engaged.
    Depending on your work/office space, try to listen to podcasts while doing drawing productions, data processing etc.
    Any tasks that are somewhat trivial or repetitive, as long as you can still complete the work while listening, I highly recommend listening to audiobooks (Audible is my go to, you can get a free trial now using my link here:, podcasts or music.
    Not only does it help time go by quicker but I can also tend to get into a focused/flow-state and breeze through projects while also listening to my current Fiction Book or learning something new.

    In addition to listening while working, it’s also important to always be learning when it comes to getting ahead and staying ahead in our industry. Taking the initiative to take a course on a new software package (Like say learning Civil 3D, cough, my civil 3d crash course can be found here) can be a great way to justify a raise or promotion to your supervisor come review time. It can also be highly beneficial for your career to learn about other aspects of the job, taking voluntary courses on Health & Safety, project management, leadership, or engineering courses can help progress your career in addition to helping with your daily tasks.

  • Take your vacation and make time for family & friends
    When work is busy, it can feel like you shouldn’t take your holidays or leave the office at a decent time. When I was younger I definitely skipped vacations/weekends etc to the detriment of my relationships with friends and family.
    It’s important not only for our health but also for the longevity of our careers to keep a good work/life balance. Burnout is real and can seem to come out of nowhere but it can typically be traced back to not listening to our body and minds. Sometimes we just need to get out of the office and take a hike, ride a bike, fish, etc.. taking a break is not a bad thing and many times can increase our engagement when we do get back and even help us come up with new ideas/solutions by freeing up our headspace.

    I know now that taking time away from the office isn’t going to cause a disaster or major project issue.
    The energy & overall engagement is always better after taking some time away to disconnect and recharge, even if it’s just an afternoon off to spend extra time with the kids.

That’s all for today, I hope you were able to take something away from today’s post and I would love if you let me know your thoughts and tips! Lets continue the conversation on Twitter here:

As always, thank you so much for reading, I am excited to be back and posting regularly on the blog and hope you all will follow along.
Cheers, and happy Drafting!

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Brandon is a Civil Designer, Aspiring Blogger/Creator, Husband, Father to two Amazing Kids and Tech Aficionado from a small town in Canada. He has been obsessed with design and technology since he can remember and working as a Civil Designer for nearly as long. Brandon’s blog and Youtube channel, has been his outlet and excuse for keeping up with new tech and trends in the CAD design world for the last 10 years growing to more than 60,000 subscribers and over 15,000,000 views, while also being the source of many great friendships and unique opportunities. If you would like to Sponsor CAD Intentions or Work together in some way, Please visit my About Page and send me an email: