So I’ve got two big, uppercase acronyms in title. Kind of double catchprase and if you’re reading this, I’ve probably got your attention. And I hope to keep it so please, just don’t stop reading, at least for a while. But why would you even consider stopping reading post about REST and some kind of API? Well, it’s because I have lied and this post is not about this kind of REST that you’ve expected. Instead, it’s about our human, common rest and recharging our batteries… and writing great REST APIs or some other code afterwards.
Lately I’m hearing, reading and working on one particular subject. This subject is productivity and it is really, really important word. I like to see time as a resource. So very limited and non-renewable but still just a resource. It can be spend on so many things and in so many ways. You can use it wise or just spend anywhere, anyhow, iresponsibbly like a child even. In this way it’s just like money. And so we have a saying “time is money”. And it’s true, if you work hard you have chance to earn more and even more money. Sadly the same is not applicable to time as a resource.
Quite the opposite. If you work hard. If you work more and more, harder and harder, and if you try to use every second, squeeze productivity from every moment, your will still have exactly the same amount of time, you just can’t exceed those 24 daily hours. Well you can cut few hours from sleeping time but, as I wrote at beginning of this paragraph, I think (and it’s my personal opinion) that time behaves opposite than money. Why so? The more you’re squeezing from every minute, the less you can do in every following minute. You don’t believe me? Try sleeping for 2-3 hours each night for a week and then learn new framework or language. Just think of it as time inflation. More you doing – less you can do. Or even a time-debt which you will need to pay back someday. With interests!
The fact is our job needs a lot of self development in our own free time. There is new “best” JS framework every year, there is new library and there is so much fun stuff laying around and waiting for us to play with (yes, I’m looking at you F#!). Well I’m working full time, living quite normal life, have hobbies other than programming, reading some non-technical stuff, watching some series (maybe a bit too much) and still I have some time to constantly learn about new technologies, I’m also writing this blog and starting to perform as a speaker on local meetups (hope to take it further this year!). It consumes a lot of time. And I mean A LOT. So what I’ve been doing every day after work?
I’m doing nothing! So much things to do and I’m half-laying in my awesomly comfortable chair for about ten minutes and doing nothing. I’ve tried to think about nothing in this time as well, but it was too hard, yeah it’s really hard to not think about anything particular for ten minutes. So I’ve started to think about nice stuff like how’s close is friday and I’ll meet with my girlfriend to have some good time, what good happened today, how great it is to just lay down and do nothing for a while or just how great weather was today, well… it was fucking cold but I think you got the idea. I’ve started doing this a while ago just after really long time in “high performance-low rest” mode and I’ve realized …. in scope of entire day, week or event month I’m doing much more more this way.
I’m getting back from work, I’m doing my “doing-nothing-time” then I’m … eating and watching some series or playing some video games. It’s about an hour of “wasted” time. I could do quarter or even a half of some nice pluralsight course or read few blogposts, maybe write my own (my TO-WRITE list is pretty big and it grows fast). So much productive things, so little time and I’m wasting my precious time.
I’ve had ceraint period some time ago and it was during my mentioned “high performace-low rest” mode continued for almost every day during about a year and there where moments where I’ve completed some course, had read some nice blogpost and even done some practice. And next day I realized I kept in mind just a fracture of everything I’ve learned. So by trying to squeeze everything out of every available minute I’ve wasted really much time.
Now I’m aware of all that, so I’m not hurrying anymore. I still have my TO DO lists but most items on them don’t have any attached dates. I still have my plans, I’m still developing myself when I can in almost every bit of free time. But I’m doing my daily “debug & reboot” ritual for around one hour, and if I want to go to sleep I’m just going to sleep, if I feel like doing nothing today I’m just doing nothing. I’m fully aware that I’m recharging my batteries and most importantly – I’m relaxed, happy and most of the time I’m at my best performance. And if it’s needed I’m ready and I’ve got reserves to push it real hard.
My advice? Sometimes just leave this REST you’re working on, just go and get yourself a real rest.