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    What should you do when you start experiencing rideshare driver burnout? You need to ask yourself a series of questions, says contributor-at-large Jay Cradeur. Below, he breaks down these crucial questions and his ultimate decision. 

    Recently, I was driving in Sacramento. I felt regret, burnout, and like I needed a change. For the first time in seven years, I did not want to be driving. I started thinking about what I could do on a Friday besides rideshare driving.  

    Remarkably, it took over 28,000 rides to reach a point where burnout would force me to reevaluate my rideshare driving career.  In this article, I will offer some questions we should all ask ourselves once in a while to assess where we are in our rideshare driving career.

    Questions to Ask Yourself When You’re Feeling Rideshare Burnout

    Question #1 – Am I Feeling Driver Burnout?

    Burnout feels like, “I don’t want to do this anymore!”  Everything feels like a slog. Until Friday, I didn’t feel burnout.  On Friday, I felt it. I can take a break or quit.

    Burnout is our body’s and spirit’s way of telling us something has to change.  At first, you may want to resist burnout and try to push through it.

    I had been doing that for the past month.  “It will pass.”  “I don’t need to change anything right now.” But as I type this, I can appreciate that burnout is teaching me a valuable lesson. Burnout is forcing me to evaluate where I am in my life, where I want to go, and what is the best way to get there.  

    Question #2 – What Do I Want To Achieve With My Rideshare Driving?

    When I started driving, it was all about the money.  I wanted to make money, and I could see a future with rideshare driving.  I studied, I tested things out and I even moved to San Francisco!

    For four years, I made over 100,000 a year. Take a look at my lessons learned after earning $250,000 here: 5 Lessons I’ve Learned After 20,000 Rides And $250,000 In Earnings

    Then the pandemic came.  We were all forced to take time away from rideshare driving.  During that time, I discovered two new loves:  Thailand and Day Trading.  

    Since I have been driving on the weekends in 2022, my goal has shifted from money to mental health.  Driving became a way to get out of the house, interact with people, and enjoy all the aspects of rideshare driving that I have loved over the years.

    Recently, I realized there were other things I could do to achieve my goal of positive mental health. Instead of driving, I can take a walk. I can communicate with friends and eat at a restaurant.   

    We live in a country with so many avenues open to us to achieve our goals.  The most important question is:  What do you want to achieve?

    Question #3 – Is Rideshare Driving Helping Or Hindering Me From Achieving My Life Goals?

    For seven years and 28,000 rides, rideshare driving has helped me achieve my goals.  However, now, I am sure it is hindering me.  This question keeps popping into my mind:  What is the best use of my time?  

    There is another aspect of my life that rideshare driving hinders, and that is my health.  Every time I drive, I feel pain in my left knee.  After a few hours, I also feel muscle pain in my right leg.  

    My dad had two knee replacements.  I have friends who already have artificial hips.  As Bette Davis said, “Old age ain’t no place for sissies!” Why should I do anything that hurts my body, even if there are other ancillary benefits?  My answer today is:  I should not!

    Question #4 – Has Rideshare Driving Become A Distraction?

    Since I have been rideshare driving for a long time, I am comfortable doing it. No challenge, no stress, and I get immediate gratification from my passengers.  Unfortunately, this can be a problem if I am driving to avoid doing something else that may be more difficult and rewarding. 

    I have a business idea that I have been putting off. It is time to take action.

    In August, I noticed that social media had become a distraction for me.  I would be sitting in a nice restaurant, and all I could think about was making an Instagram story.  It was taking me out of the present moment.  I quit Instagram and Tik Tok the next day.  I still have Facebook, but I only post one time per month or so.  

    As a result, I feel much less distracted and addicted to my phone.  Habits are hard to break.  However, the rewards can be highly satisfying.

    Question #5 – Is It Time To Take A Break Or Retire?

    When working full-time in San Francisco, I needed to take long vacations each year to refresh and relax.  By long, I mean six to eight weeks of vacation.  

    I traveled to Bali, Vietnam, Greece, Thailand, Spain, Portugal, and Morrocco during my full-time years.  When I returned from my journey, I was refreshed and ready to drive again.  Rideshare driving provided me with money, and the money was paying for the travel.  Everything was in alignment.  A break was all I needed.  

    But now things are different. Rideshare driving is no longer in alignment with my life goals. The tough choice is to leave the comfortable nest of rideshare driving and jump into the uncomfortable free fall of whatever is next.  

    Retirement is a difficult idea for me.  I like to keep my options open.  Even when this option doesn’t work for me, a part of me does not want to give it up. But I know it is the right thing to do; I can feel it in my body and heart.  

    The confusing part is this.  Since rideshare driving has been so good for me for so long, why is it no longer suitable for me?  Time changes things.  Situations change.  Relationships change.  Metaphorically, we are all swimming around in a mighty water current, clinging to what works. The water current has shifted for me, and what worked for seven years no longer works.  

    It’s time to make a change.

    My Last Weekend Of Driving – January 8, 2022

    My last day was bittersweet.  I felt melancholy about this being my last day for a while.  I can always pop out for another few hours of driving on a Saturday, but I want to do something else.  I needed to close the door (no pun intended) on rideshare driving.  I need to eliminate the temptation.  

    I also felt an exhilaration for a transformed future.  By removing this from my life, I am opening up a tremendous amount of energy that will be used in a new and unknown way.  I know I am making the right choice.  Yet there is sadness as I am letting go of a seven-year-old habit.

    The Middle Ground

    After thinking about my future and my options and answering the questions I have provided here, my solution is to only drive on the occasional Saturday when I desire to get out of the house.  

    Fridays are now dedicated to my other passions in life. Sundays will be for rest and recovery, and preparation for Monday.  Saturdays will remain open and flexible.  

    I recently spoke with my ex-wife, and she said it did not make sense to her that I would quit something I enjoy doing.  I agree.  While the door remains open, it is only open on Saturdays, so this resolution sits very well with me.  

    Key Takeaways

    I have shared some questions you may want to ask yourselves once in a while.  These are tough questions because they invite change.  

    We, humans, don’t like change.  We like to keep things as they are. Change brings us to the dreaded “unknown” where anything can happen.  

    It looks like this old dog needs to learn new tricks; I am sad to say it.  Rideshare driving has become a much smaller part of my life. As a result, my identity as a rideshare driver has to shift. 

    I must venture into the great cosmic void. That weekend in January was my last full weekend of driving. No more Fridays. Let’s see where life takes me.

    Have you ever experienced driver burnout? What was your solution?

    -Jay @ RSG

    Jay Cradeur

    Jay Cradeur

    Jay Cradeur, a graduate of the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, is a full-time driver with over 26,000 rides. Jay has a driver-focused podcast: Rideshare Dojo with Jay Cradeur. When Jay isn’t writing articles or making videos, he is traveling the world. You can see what Jay is up to at www.nomadjay.com.