“What? Say ‘thank you’? What kind of column is this, Greg?”
I am trying to share with you some of the most important things you can be doing as a pro coder, and stopping to thank yourself is pretty high on the list!
When we slug it out, day in and day out, writing code, crafting automated tests, tracking down bugs, and working on releases, there are days when you’re flat out beat. Sometimes at the end of the day, your brain dissolves into goo.
Hopefully, writing the code is loads of fun and very exciting. Doesn’t mean it also doesn’t wear you out.
And so it’s OKAY to stop every now and then. Maybe this hour or the next, and say “thank you” to yourself. But I’m not talking about words. I’m talking about something a little more substantive than that.
- It’s okay to stop and read another chapter of that latest book you’re on. (I’ve been reading Humble Pi by Matt Parker lately.)
- It’s also okay to pause and watch a video from your favorite YouTube channel. (I love physics videos and calculus videos. Go figure!)
I’d mention stopping to check out your favorite social media for a bit, but there is a greater risk you’ll start scrolling and suddenly get sucked in for the next hour!
Taking a few breaks throughout the day and rewarding yourself with something enjoyable (but not TOO long) is OKAY.
I once met with someone that point blank told me it was okay for ME to take breaks like this. I…didn’t realize I was so instinctively apprehensive to the thought of taking breaks like that. But somehow, TELLING me it was okay brushed that aside.
Anytime I feel the slightest hint that I shouldn’t be doing it…I remember that voice. And I smile a bit. It’s okay to take a break. And so I’m telling YOU the same.
Anytime someone suggests you shouldn’t do it…tell them I said it was OKAY. Because we have an important job to do. That code requires the best of us, and taking a break to replenish your energy is actually a Good Idea.
We can’t operate systems if we’re hobbling along. It’s vital to eat, rest, and replenish our mental, spiritual, and emotional energies. If taking a break to read a chapter…