Day in shoes of father developer.

July 21, 2021

In this article, I want to go over my daily routine and describe my work process. It's important to have some kind of routine each day. I do not stick to it 100% as developers we are supposed to be agile and as such we sometimes need to change our plans.

My daily routine is changing with time and my priorities. So do not take this as the best plan you can do. Take it as an inspiration.

Priorities

When my daughter was born my priorities changed a lot. I realized that I do not want to spend all her childhood at work. I used to go to the office every day, the commute took me 2 hours per day. Spend 8 hours there working. One-hour lunch. I did not see her for more than a few minutes per day. Add some open source work and side-project work in the evenings and I did not see my girlfriend that much more. So my biggest priority became to be more with my family.

Work is still very important to me though. I really enjoy what I do and you know it brings money to our family. To be successful in my work I cannot effort to just sit through 8 hours of work every day, I need to learn new stuff, improve my skills, etc... So another priority is my work.

The last priority on this list is myself. When I started with this priority shift I kinda did not realize that myself should be my priority as well. I was not feeling very happy. I was tired all the time. And to be honest I missed some of my me time.

As I realized my priority shift I realize I need to do something with my life and routine. The first thing I did was I changed jobs. I realized that if I want to spend more time with my family I need to work from home. My current job offered one day per week, which was not enough and I kinda wanted to change that job anyway. Now I work mostly out of the home.

The second thing we did, we moved out of the city to a village bit outside Prague. Not we have nice 4 bedroom house and I have my own office in there. I still get to leave and go to the office so that I have a routine.

Morning

Every morning we (as a family) woke up at around 7 AM. This is mostly driven by the hour daughter that simply wakes up at that hour. I do not have an alarm set up. Days, when she wakes up a little bit later, are a nice surprise.

First thing in the morning we do our personal hygiene and have a nice family breakfast together. Then I spend some playtime with my daughter and around 8:30 I go to the office to start the workday.

Side note here when I spend time with my family I try for it to be at least one hour of uninterrupted time. Less seems like cheating.

Work Day

First thing in the morning I will compile a TODO list. I start by copying the tasks that were not finished yesterday I will add new ones from email, calendar, etc... I prioritize those by the ABCDE method and start the work on the A task. During the day I am adding tasks to my list. If those are not finished I will prioritize them the next day. If anything urgent comes up I deal with it.

I try to do my work with the Pomodoro technique. I use Marinara Chrome Extension. I do 20 minutes focus intervals and 5 minute breaks between those. I usually try to do at least 8 focus intervals per day. During these, I do my best working.

During breaks, I recently started to do Twitter. I want to build some online following so during a break I will take time to interact with people.

The rest of my 8 hours is spent doing meetings, emails, ad-hock work, or low-priority tasks.

Recently for some meetings, I started to go for walks during those. I just take headphones, phone and go to the on the walk meeting.

Once a week I am trying to write a blog article.

Lunch

Lunch is another important part of my day for me. It's another meal we are having together as a family. After lunch, my daughter goes to sleep and I either spent that time going back to work (so that I can stop early that day) or spent it doing errands. Like grocery shopping, etc...

Evening

Every day I try to end my work as soon as possible. I can always work for few hours in the evening, I cannot spend that time with my daughter tho as she is already asleep. I try to spend at least two to three hours here every evening.

After she is sleeping there are some options I try to balance into my week. I either exercise, spend time gardening, doing side projects, or doing some other hobby (I love Warhammer 40k miniature painting). Then I spent some time with my girlfriend either watching TV, playing board games, etc... Some evenings we spend apart reading or doing our own things.

Weekends

On the weekends I try not to work at all. My goal is not even to start the computer. We are trying to go on trips, spend days at the pool, etc...


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