Friday, July 01, 2005

Getting Over Bad Habits

A pure nugget of information

3. Not Sleeping

You can't steal time from your sleep schedule, you can only borrow it. Eventually you have to pay it back. With interest. Yes, you *have* to get XYZ done by yesterday, or... or... Well, *something* really bad will happen. Take a minute to consider most deadlines you've had. Is the deliverable going to ship the day after the deadline? Of course not, this is just the regular monthly deliverable. By the time the shipping deliverable rolls around you'll be paying back your sleep debt, with interest.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. The exact form and date of the final deliverable doesn't matter all that much. Market research always says it would be best to be five years ahead of everyone else in terms of functionality, and able to ship tomorrow. You don't even need surveys to figure that out. The only way to make a useful schedule is with a healthy attention to reality. If there won't be time to include a feature, trim it, and if the bare minimum functionality can't be done in time, let the deliverable date slip.

In the end, all that matters is the code you write, not the hours you put in. If you find yourself falling asleep in your chair, forcing yourself to type to avoid nodding off, go home and get some sleep. You'll more than make up for the lost time the next day.

I'm done with work today. I came in around 7:30am and now desperately need some shut eye. If I leave now, I'll do much better work tomorrow. If I don't, I'll waste the rest of the evening away and achieve nothing. Worse, I'll regret how I wasted my evening tomorrow when I wake up and tomorrow will be wasted too. And so on till it's Tuesday. Must stop before the dam bursts...

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