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Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

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What do you do within the first 30 minutes of starting your work day?

Whether a job or working on your portfolio or side projects, etc. How do you typically start? Is your routine consistent or varied?

Top comments (85)

ryansmith profile image
Ryan Smith

In the morning I'm rested and renewed, so not squandering that mental and physical state is very important for me. I focus on my core responsibilities that I need to get done which are usually my programming tasks. I'm starting with getting a drink, opening my editor plus any documents I need, then getting going on coding. I know what I need to do, so I'm not fussing around with to-do lists, reminders, or wondering what I should pick up next. I am trying to stay consistent in that routine.

That usually means getting up a little earlier and working before everyone else, but it is huge for my productivity. No distractions from emails, chats, or meetings. There isn't much to induce stress and anxiety. Tasks that seem daunting late in the afternoon really aren't that bad with a couple of focused hours in the morning after a good night's rest. I'm not a morning person and don't enjoy it, but it feels good to have that quiet time to code and make significant progress.

ferricoxide profile image
Thomas H Jones II

Being someone who actually gets proportionally more-tired for every 15 minutes I sleep beyond about the 5.5 hour-mark, it's long been my default to start my day early ...even earlier now that my "commute" is one flight of stairs from my bed to my couch. :p

But, it's always been great to have a few hours of uninterrupted time to focus on things.

supermario_ai profile image

Wait for our TEST environment to get brought up by hand.


ferricoxide profile image
Thomas H Jones II

By hand??? Oof.

For anything that actually needs to persist to the next day (that also isn't a core support-service like login- or vaulting-hosts, GitLab, Jenkins, etc.), we add them to our power-scheduler.

supermario_ai profile image

We have a scheduling tool, but bringing up the environment isn't my wheelhouse. I just test the things. πŸ€£πŸ€£β€οΈπŸ’―

Thread Thread
ferricoxide profile image
Thomas H Jones II

Group I work for is the technical cloud-enablement group. Our group got created months before the first cloud-services users started to explore moving to cloud. Because the budgets were allocated to those other groups, we were pretty much forced by necessity to implement scheduling tools so we wouldn't blow our budgets each month.

Necessity: the mother of invention. =)

zejnilovic profile image
Saőa Zejnilović

Are you humble-bragging that you have a test environment?

supermario_ai profile image
SuperMario • Edited

If it worked like it was supposed to, then yes Sir. 🀣🀣

Honestly, that is what I do for the first 30 minutes of every workday.

Besides, everyone knows by now to only test in Production.

At least, everyone outside of my enterprise. 😏

_garybell profile image
Gary Bell

I actually had to re-read that a few times to make sure it said what I thought it said.

And now I am sure it says what I think it says, I can only politely say "wait, what?!"

supermario_ai profile image
SuperMario • Edited

The joys of decades old ancient codebases, mainframes and 2018 frontend ui frameworks.

Real treat! We did it again today! 🀣🀣🀣

ortonomy profile image
πŸ…–πŸ…‘πŸ…”πŸ…–πŸ…žπŸ…‘πŸ…¨ πŸ…žπŸ…‘πŸ…£πŸ…žπŸ…
  • get a coffee
  • refresh on work done yesterday / this week
  • gauge if I have important tasks need doing because I’m a dependency for others
  • gauge if I have important tasks for myself
  • gauge if I have dependencies on others
  • plan day
  • send requests for people’s’ time
  • answer request for my time
  • start work
itsasine profile image
ItsASine (Kayla)

Coffee, read emails, morning standup

Email routine is delete anything spammy (Jira and Gitlab notifications), archive anything vaguely useful (official workplace heads-up stuff), and leave anything in the inbox that needs dealt with for later (lol I'm not that important).

If one of the dumb Jira emails was from the daily subscription for support tickets, pull those up with the Jira board in preparation for stand up screensharing. I mostly just gesture towards the board with my mouse during stand up.

Once all that's out of the way, I can get into the day :)

dougmckechie profile image
Douglas McKechie

Routine is pretty consistent. After arriving at the office I quickly eat breakfast while checking emails, then its DEV stand up where we cover what we did yesterday, plan for today, any stucks etc.

okeeffed profile image
Dennis O'Keeffe • Edited

I have one of those small, cheesy "todo list" note pads.

I generally spend the start of office hours writing down all the things that are on my mind that need to be done. This includes aggregating small TODOs from JIRA, Slack, calendar etc. It might sound like repeating what is there, but it helps me keep an awareness of how the day looks in a centralised, analog fashion (emphasis on analog).

I always leave a little bit of space on the left, so then I go back over the list after writing all the TODOs and number them from 1..n in terms of priority to use throughout the day and also attempt to "guesstimate" and allocate time (generously). So it might look like this:

[  ] 5 (1hr) Prep notes for X
[  ] 4 (3hr) Add e2e tests for X
[ x ] 1 (2hr) Refactor X
[  ] 3 (30min) Email support about X
[ x ] 2 (90min) Write Performance self-review

I find it does the following:

  1. Sets me up for what my day looks like.
  2. Gives me an easily accessible place on my table to check things off and feel like I am accomplishing things.
  3. Helps me correctly position my availability to others and helps with saying "no" to things or knowing what can give.
  4. Helps position how much time I need on something to others. This is almost always impossible, but I've found over time that my "generous" time has refined and become more accurate to the unknowns.

It is also where I try to stay mindful of external things I also need to do throughout the day (doctor appointments, etc).

Maybe its just the routine of doing so, but without it can feel like I have no idea what I am doing and finish the day forgetting some of the important things that I have done!

nataliedeweerd profile image
𝐍𝐚𝐭𝐚π₯𝐒𝐞 𝐝𝐞 π–πžπžπ«π

I love a good to-do list! It's not as sophisticated as yours, but it helps me quickly see what jobs I have on for the day :) I always prep my list for the next day just before leaving work.

supermario_ai profile image

If you have a W10 box, MS ToDo is awesome for the content in your image.

jonoyeong profile image
Jonathan Yeong

My routine when I first start my workday is:

  • Fresh cup of coffee or tea.
  • Journal to understand my intentions for today.
  • Todo list for the work features.
  • Mon, Wed, Fri - read through emails. JIRA ticket cleanups. Kind of nothing tasks that make me feel productive.
  • Tue, Thur - I dive straight into focused work. Quit slack, headphones on.

Generally, this is pretty consistent. It's only on days my dog wakes me up and I can't go back to sleep where everything falls apart. Didn't realize how important sleep was until I got older.

codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald • Edited

I was introduced to Bullet Journaling on Saturday, and it already seems to be something that will solve a few recurring time management hurdles leftover from my head injury. So, that'll be my new "first 30 minutes" thing! (I hope to update later on how that's going).

fetchworkglenn profile image

Mornings are for coffee and contemplation.

lynmuldrow_93 profile image
Lyn Muldrow

My routine is pretty consistent and I prefer it that way, although I love to switch things up here and there when I'm moved. I work from home and am an early riser, so after (showering, then) finding my fav pj pants and a work-appropriate top to put on, I walk my Great Dane, grab an Earl Grey tea, say good morning to my kids (who are usually awake when I am) and fire up my computer in my home office.

After I log into work, I typically:

  • check my email
  • sign in with the team by posting a "Good Morning"
  • assess the time-sensitive/dependency priorities for the day
  • update my work/goal related social media accounts
  • start working on things from most time-sensitive to least

Because some of the things I do on social are intertwined with my work, I've made it a point to check those accounts in the morning so that I'm not wondering where I am through my work with what I need to post/update. I find that the anxiety of 'knowing I have to do something' gets weighty the longer I put it off, so I try to use my morning productivity to knock out as many tasks as I can.

moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

At the moment, I make breakfast.

I've never been able to eat breakfast for a while after waking up, and waking up now happens later (no commute). And it only takes five minutes to set up my computers and another five minutes to check on emails and so on.

Part of my work day? Sure. My work starts with meetings, over zoom, and I might as well make use of the time, so I basically live-stream making something tasty. Last Friday was a smoked-sausage and mushroom bagel with coffee.

benwtrent profile image
Benjamin Trent

Spend ~10 minutes in quiet making my pour-over coffee. This sounds pretentious, but it is the only time of day where I have ZERO external input. Having personal reflection, isolation, and silence is important.

Once I have coffee in hand:

  • If there was a problem I couldn't figure out from the previous day, usually sleeping on it does the trick. I start on the problem right away. This means skipping the usual morning message checks.
  • Otherwise I do all of the following:
    • Check email, SLACK for anything important
    • Run through all my GH notifications (usually over 20+, some I don't care about others I do). This usually builds my task list for the day.
    • Start handling GH notifications (issue comments, PR review requests, etc.).
krippy2k profile image
Gerald Fishel

I recently bought a standing desk with a treadmill. The first 30 minutes now is typically a brisk walk on the treadmill as I catch up on emails, from Jira tickets, and other tasks that don’t require a ton of typing. During this time I’ll also generally do some scanning of the stock market for trade ideas, which is my secondary source of income.

mvoloskov profile image
Miloslav πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆ πŸ¦‹ Voloskov

Humans are such creatures that really need rituals. Just remember religions, oriental eating culture or "I'll start running from the next Monday I promise".

If you want to get started quickly, you need some kind of ritual. The separation is important and that's what made rituals what they are. Allow yourself to have fun and do everything you want before the ritual but after it you'll have to focus.

For me such a ritual is our daily standup. Before the standup I watch youtube and have fun, but after I start working.

fossheim profile image

First I look at open issues/notes/e-mail/messages/etc. Just to get a quick overview over what's urgent. Then make a quick list of todos for the day (if I don't have one yet from the day before), organize them by priority, put on some music and grab something to drink, and start working on my todos :)

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