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Discussion on: Full-time, side projects, learning, and staying sane

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cmmata profile image
Carles Mata

Great post! Just the situation I'm having this year.. I'm working 45h / week or more, and everyday I spend 1h in conmute. And I always feel I don't have enough time to learn new things, have side projects and have fun outside development. My actual situation vs the changes I want to make are:

  • I go running 2 times a week, but spend a lot of hours sitting on a desk the rest of the time. I don't feel that extra energy you talk about, so I think I should exercise more than I do to feel it. Anyway, I plan to exercise 4-5 times a week: 30-40 minutes during the week and all the time I can on weekends, but always longer.
  • I'm starting to wake up 30 minutes earlier every morning from Monday to Friday. When I get used to it, I'll wake 30 more to have 1 hour of extra time every morning. I'll use 2 days to exercise and 3 to learning.
  • I stripped down Facebook and removed the mobile app. I only log in by web and maybe 1-2 times per month. I still have to spend less time on Twitter and Instagram.
  • And my main problem, one of your advices: focus. When I have free time, I spend a lot checking e-mail, RSS, or just maintaining the to-do list. I need to reduce that and spend more time just DOING. I'll take your advice to dedicate almost half an hour per day to the side projects.

So as you see, I'm still trying to find my rhythm and staying sane, because currently it's a bit of a mess.. hahaha Thank you four sharing this!

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simoroshka profile image
Anna Simoroshka Author

Great plan! Try changing this and that and see what works for you.

Yes, exercising works when you do it consistently, preferably every day. Hitting 10000 steps can also be considered an exercise, and a short 10 minutes intense workout can work even better than an hour long session. I am still struggling establishing a consistent routine with this one.

When you get to wake up earlier, remember that you don't actually make an extra hour in your day, there are always 24 of them, and you'll need to go to bed earlier anyway. Unless you are super productive in the morning, it might not make much of a difference. Giving up on things that don't give you any value is much better.

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cmmata profile image
Carles Mata

Well, I didn't explain you.. I'm a morning guy and at nights I usually watch films or series. Nothing more than distract my mind because the rest of the day I'm doing a lot of things. So waking up one hour earlier means that I go to bed the same hour earlier, so I convert one "video hour" to a productive hour. That's why I said I'll have extra time. :)

Anyway, as you recommend it's a kind of way to give up things that only give me some fun and nothing really valuable.

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kylemay profile image
Kyle May

Yep. It's all about finding the best productive moments in the day and devoting them to work, and that's certainly much different from person to person.

I'm personally productive at 9AM to 1 PM sluggish and unproductive from 3 PM to 8 PM but I hit my most productive period from 9 PM to 2 AM

A lot of people actually have multiple productive and unproductive periods during a day, but unnecessarily constrain themselves into a binary circumstance of being a night owl or a morning person.

You could take this further in that people also might unnecessarily constrain themselves into a 24 hour cycle. I personally have 3 days a week where I work most of my hours, and 3 days where I relax and work on hobbies, social activities, fitness, etc. This conflicts with my unproductive periods, but I find that the added goal and time crunch gives me more motivation, focus, and enjoyment than I would otherwise have.

I personally burn out much faster working consistently for 5 or 6 days even if it's less hours, because I like to devote long focused periods (12+ hours) to whatever i feel like doing. My family knows if I go into work mode that they wont see me for the day, but the reverse is true for family mode where I spend all of my time and focus on them.

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cmmata profile image
Carles Mata

Working full day 3 days and resting other 3 sounds really interesting. But it's not an option for me as I work in a company that is very strict with time and presence. It's old fashioned and I have to be 8h/day like if I would have to be open to clients. Like in a clothes shop or businesses like that. It's a pity, but what I have at this time.

I think my day is not binary like I'm productive at morning and unproductive at night. It's more like an energy bar, full at the morning and near empty at nights. It's strange because I can go to run either mornings or nights with more or less the same result, but my development focus is very different, high at morning, half at midday and finding really difficult to focus at nights.