Dear engineers, this is a marathon and not a sprint so take care
Actual coding plays obviously a huge role in our career as engineers. We constantly need to take care of our hard skills and keep them sharp in order to stay attractive in a very demanding and competitive market.
Technologies evolve, libraries and frameworks come and go, so we need to keep an eye on them, improve our skillset and stay relevant.
All these are great but we constantly need to meet the deadlines we have and deliver on time to be ahead of the competition or even keep our job and stay on track.
What if I tell you that all this is not a sprint but an actual marathon. Would you believe me? What If I tell you that most engineers realize all this after 10 or so years in the field while in their mid-thirties or early forties? What would you do differently If you were aware of this situation while starting coding?
I am sure you would pay attention to some other things apart from your IDE, right? Let's see some of them and let me share my own experiences regarding them so you avoid doing the same mistakes.
# Take care of your sleep routine
A great sleep routine helps us to stay happy, relaxed, and focused. We give the time needed to our brain so that it can absorve all this knowledge and information we keep on feeding it daily. That way it can organize and put things in order so we can build on top of them the day after.
Don't underestimate the power of your subconscious and the work that is done while you are asleep. Most of housekeeping takes place during our sleep so we need to evaluate all this.
Our brains should be as sharp as possible since this is the most powerful weapon in our toolset. Being a night owl is like shooting our leg so better to avoid this as much as possible.
# Establish a studying pattern
People who have a great sleep routine tend to wake up early. This is the best moment to read an article or watch a video you are interested in. Your brain is calm and relaxed so it can easily stay focused and make the most out of this experience.
Engineers should master learning and figure out how they can learn easier. This is part of our profession so it is important to do this the right way by establishing a studying pattern.
# Pay attention to your body posture while working
Do you like back pains and neck issues that may last for months? I guess not. If you want to protect your health, pay attention to your body posture. A fine chair will help you a lot so you 'd better be willing to spend some money and grab a fine one. It is your health after all.
Personally speaking, I have spent some money buying a couple of decent chairs throughout the years but recently I found out that the swiss ball can do miracles. I am highly proposing to give it a shot. It is cheap and extremely effective so you have nothing to lose if you try it out 🤗
# Protect your eyes
Since we are sitting in front of monitors and laptops constantly, we are exposing our eyes to blue light for tens of hours every week. This can become extremely harmful down the road and lead to painful headaches and dizziness. Unfortunately, it will not only affect your performance in a negative way but it will worsen your life quality.
My experience regarding this topic is really bad. I didn't pay attention to this for years so I had to deal with migraines for more than 1-2 times per week. This was actually extremely frustrating and exhausting. I tried acupuncture with some success but when I bought a pair of glasses with the blue light filter all these migraines got eliminated.
# Exercise regularly and track your weight
Sitting on a chair for hours might seem convenient but it comes with a cost. Moving rarely harms the blood circulation and our body health. Things tend to get worse as we get older, so we need to take some precautionary measures early enough.
How can we improve this? By exercising regularly. Make exercise part of your life and this will benefit your brain apart from your body. You will be able to relieve stress and relax. Remember, it is a marathon and not a sprint, right?
Once again I screwed regarding this. I gained 20 kgs while making the career switch to the engineering world some years ago. I have to admit that being overweighted, can lead to more headaches and migraines. One day I said enough is enough, and I started exercising. At the moment of this writing, I have managed to lose 15 kgs and I feel healthy and sound.
As you get, some things play a vital role regarding the quality of our life and our performance throughout this long marathon. All these have nothing to do with our IDE. The more we pay attention to them the more we stay healthy and competent.
We need these two to enjoy something more important than engineering which is life itself. Take care of yourself and all this will pay you off. Cheers!!