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There Is No Spoon? Understanding Spoon Theory & Preventing Burnout

There Is No Spoon? Understanding Spoon Theory & Preventing Burnout

As presented at Railsconf 2017

Jameson Alea

April 22, 2017

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  1. What is Spoon Theory?? Railsconf 2017 | @jameybash A social

    metaphor for how much energy we each have in a day The key to Spoon Theory = You have a finite number!
  2. “I wanted something for her to actually hold, for me

    to then take away, since most people who get sick feel a loss of a life they once knew. If I was in control of taking away the spoons, then she would know what it feels like to have someone or something else, in this case Lupus, being in control.” - Christine Miserandino Railsconf 2017 | @jameybash
  3. Railsconf 2017 | @jameybash You can’t know how many spoons

    someone else has just by looking at them!
  4. Who does spoon theory affect? Railsconf 2017 | @jameybash •

    Shared Language • Greater empathy for others • Better understanding of our limits
  5. Physical Illnesses & Disabilities ◦Constant pain is exhausting! ◦Emotional drain

    of worry ◦Reduced mobility/decreased accessibility ◦Frequent health care Railsconf 2017 | @jameybash
  6. Mental Illnesses ◦Constant emotional distress is also exhausting ◦Being told

    to “get over it!” ◦Can be socially ostracizing ◦Can also be physical Railsconf 2017 | @jameybash
  7. Marginalized Groups ◦Being discriminated against sucks! ◦Emotionally dealing with the

    political climate ◦Having to justify your existence ◦Microaggressions Railsconf 2017 | @jameybash “You don’t sound black” “You don’t look transgender” “Where are you from anyway?” “So who’s the guy in your relationship?” “Are you the secretary?”
  8. Railsconf 2017 | @jameybash As you can see, privilege is

    a factor! Just because you have privilege, it doesn’t mean your life can’t be hard sometimes! But it isn’t hard BECAUSE you have privilege. It’s hard EVEN THOUGH you have it.
  9. Managing your employees’ spoons ◦Productivity – everyone needs energy to

    do their best work ◦Empathy – you care about them (I hope!) & want them to lead fulfilling lives Railsconf 2017 | @jameybash Burn Out
  10. Spoons vs Agile Methodology Railsconf 2017 | @jameybash • Velocity

    – an intangible unit of measurement • Prioritizing your team dynamic • Your employees are your #1 resource!
  11. Lessening your employees’ burdens ◦Recognize that their health is more

    important than their work ◦Provide adequate health care! ◦Treat mental illness as an illness ◦Make accessibility a priority, not an afterthought Railsconf 2017 | @jameybash
  12. Railsconf 2017 | @jameybash Keeping people’s needs in mind --

    Understanding the affect on productivity
  13. Fostering a diverse & tolerant workplace ◦ Actions speak louder

    than words ◦ Don’t demand that minorities do all the diversity work! ◦ But do listen to your underrepresented employees and believe their stories ◦ Don’t tolerate crappy behavior! Railsconf 2017 | @jameybash
  14. Recommended reading/watching! ◦ The original Spoon Theory essay by Christine

    Miserandino - https://butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/ ◦ Your Invisible Illness Is Valid by Sam Escobar - https://femsplain.com/your- invisible-illness-is-valid-f33f85f18dc3 ◦ That Time You Failed To Follow Up On Diversity by Melissa Nightingale - https://mfbt.ca/that-time-you-failed-to-follow-up-on-diversity- cd701f52da6c?gi=dd80985b40fb ◦ Monitoring The Health of Your Self by Mary Thengvall - http://confreaks.tv/videos/codedaze2016-monitoring-the-health-of-your-self ◦ The Quest for the Rainbow Bagel by Zach Anner - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhpUJRGrZgc Railsconf 2017 | @jameybash