Programming is awesome, hands down. I can sit down on a couch, on a beach in lovely Charleston, or on a mountain. I can do it from anywhere and have my ideas come directly from my head onto a web browser. It’s crazy!
When I was first introduced to this, I would sit down for DAYS and just learn and write code. Granted, the code was really bad, but I was on the way to becoming successful! My schedule would be this:
- Wake up
- Turn on computer
- Learn some stuff
- Repeat for 16 hours
- Eat dinner
- Go to sleep
Does anyone see what’s wrong with this? This is the same stuff I would do every day. I let myself lead an extremely unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle. Although happy and successful, I was letting my health spiral out of control. My weight went up; I was getting fat and I didn’t care.
Too much of a good thing isn’t good for you! You need to maintain a good balance between sitting and moving or you will have severe consequences later in life! Thankfully I caught these issues before they got too severe.
While developing, you need to take breaks. Start simple. 2 hours on, 15 minutes off. During those 15 minutes, make sure you’re moving around. Do some pushups, do some pullups, do some crunches, go walk a brisk half-mile. Do something! Get moving!
You don’t have to be pumping iron every day, but you don’t want to sit on your ass all day every day either. Maintain a balance!
Maintaining a good balance is not just about working out/getting up and moving. You need to properly separate your work and play. Give developing a rest! Have pre-defined cut-off points where if you aren’t finished your assignment, get the hell off the computer. You need to have defined separation between work and play. Play can’t be you going from one computer developing to another doing research. Spend time with your friends or family.
Don’t hesitate to tell someone that you can’t create their website if you’re already booked. Do not book contracts during your free time. There are always exceptions, but if there is no need, don’t do it!
Maintaining a proper balance is crucial to being successful. Personal relationships and your health are just as important (maybe even more so?) as your work. It will make you a well-rounded developer and a much more likeable person.