On a week of holiday

Productivity Dec 01, 2021

Finally taking at least a whole week of holidays

As a professional developer, I prefer taking regular holidays. Sometimes though, taking at least a whole week to break from the daily grind is excellent for general well being. I also return back to work rested, revitalised and with refreshed motivation.

During the holidays though, I'm not following my usual routine of sleeping and waking up early. In addition, when I'm working, my mind is usually focused on work even when I should be relaxing. So I spend less time resting both at night and throughout the day - especially during the weekend.

At the end of the day, my sleep patterns have changed. I feel more sleepy. Therefore, I drink more coffee than usual. Lately, I've been drinking Cinnamon Coffee which makes me feel more focused than usual regular black coffee.

Tip: If you don’t get Cinnamon coffee itself, you can add cinnamon spice to your coffee (preferably black coffee).

On my routine

Even during holidays or on a weekend, I like writing. Placing the laptop on my lap or on pillows is not enough though. With the device wobbling around, it’s hard for me to properly focus let alone type.

Having a physical desk to sit down to write or code is essential for both creativity and productivity.

Next is also having a routine. If I sit down and wait to be inspired, I might have to wait a lot. Before writing a blog post or an email for instance, I usually brainstorm the ideas in my mind so that everything is clear right in front of me. Once done, I use another editor accompanied with Grammarly to edit and proofread the work.

Moreover, I usually spend a few minutes every morning before work to prepare a draft of my latest blog post. Whenever I have some time, I try to refine it. However, as I am currently on holiday, I'm not following this routine. I, therefore, missed publishing a blog post after several consecutive weeks if not months.

Kaizen

During my free time or within a quick technical break from work, I’m usually working on improving my typing speed and accuracy.

I notice typos have an indirect relationship with creativity and my thinking process in general. The more there are, the less creative I am. Plus, without typing fast and accurately, I cannot get my ideas promptly from my head to paper.

This also affects my thinking process when I’m programming. The more typos, the more I have to tap on the backspace key to correct characters - hampering me me when I’m in the zone or trying to get into it.

The biggest advantage I’ve noted so far since I started intentionally improving my typing speed and accuracy is the ease I’m able to explain technical ideas to my colleagues via chat. I can quickly expand my thoughts without many typos and instantly get feedback from them.

Bonus: I use Grammarly for editing my drafts. This makes it much faster with proofreading and autocorrects features. LanguageTool can also be an interesting alternative.

What book am I currently reading and why?

People differ. During holidays, some prefer travelling abroad. However, with the Covid pandemic worsening globally, it’s safer to stay at home. As a result, a good choice to relax can be binge-watching highly popular television shows or animes.

I personally prefer reading bestselling books or those in which I have a keen interest - particular those that can improve my day to day work as a Software Developer.

Right now, I'm completely submerged in reading the bestselling book Give and Take by Adam Grant.

Even though it is lengthy, the author’s eloquence keeps me hooked.

The reason I've chosen to buy and read this book is that it was recommended by David Heinemeier Hansson. As I'm a fan of his work and programming principles, including his highly popular Web Framework Ruby on Rails, I am enthusiastic about reading it.

What's the best way for me to get into the flow for deep work such as learning something new?

Interruptions for me is the biggest creativity killer. At work, meetings break my flow. Whenever one is scheduled within 30 minutes or so, I can’t really focus on a complex task. This is the time I usually need to get into the zone.

I’ve also noticed that working in a small closed-door room or private office is a huge productivity boost. This is particularly relevant when learning something new, such as a new programming framework. That’s one of the reasons I struggle working on complex things in an open space plan office.

I’m hoping to learn on this subject as I plan on reading the book Deep Work by Cap Newport. It has been in my reading list for a few years now.

What's a life hack that I've recently tried and it works?

Losing belly fat is always a challenge. One practical tip I’m been trying few days ago, is drinking a glass of water with two spoons of Chia seeds.

I glance on this information on an article that appeared on my Google feed.

As I’m going to be exercising less during holidays, I try this to eat less. My first impression is indeed that my satiety increases a few minutes after drinking Chia seeds soaked in water. I don’t feel like eating a lot, especially that I’m avoiding or reducing my net refined carbs intake.

Conclusion

Taking regular breaks from work is certainly helpful. However, this opportunity or flexibility might not be available to everyone particularly during the Covid Pandemics and the resurgence of new variants.

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Abdallah Yashir

Hey, my name is Abdallah Yashir. I am a Software Developer. I like coding, writing, photography and spending quality time with my family. I also love reading and playing FIFA in my spare time.

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