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Programmer Productivity: Weekends

Posted on 14/8/10 by Felix Geisendörfer

Weekends are a weird thing when you love what you are doing. Most weekends I have one voice in my head that pushes me to work, and another one that tells me to relax and have some fun.

It's tough, because I always have a lot of ideas for interesting projects, and weekends are about the only time when I can just hack on something for the fun of it. And of course, we are also bootstrapping a startup, so that is very hard to do without putting in some hours over the weekend.

I generally don't have an upfront plan for my weekends, so I mostly just do what feels right at any given moment, be it some hours of coding, some beach volleyball, or playing forkmaster with a few friends. There is usually also one night of hanging out with friends drinking.

This is nothing I'm proud of. It's 2 out of 7 days a week that go by without a strong vision. These weekends feel more like a "break" than a vacation. There is little adventure or heroic work ethics that I can look back at when starting out on Monday.

So for next weekend, I will try to work out a clear plan that will make it a wonderful experience including some well-defined time for serious work. By having an upfront plan, I expect myself to be more emerged in both the fun, and the work with less confusion in my head about what I should be doing at any given moment. Ideally I'll leave the weekend more refreshed than usual, while still having made a nice dent into my backlog.

After that I might also try a weekend with no computer / iphone access. If that yields considerably better results, I just need to get my weekly productivity levels high enough to make this possible.

Yesterday's Productivity

  1. Productive work: 2,80 h
  2. Busy work: 4,40 h
  3. Procrastination: 0,37 h

Time after 6pm: 0 h

271 lines of code added, 172 deleted in 2 projects

  • Busy work is still high due to the fact that the box that his site is running on is acting up, and I'm working on migrating everything to
  • There was a beach volleyball tournament right after work, so no after-hour working
  • Procrastination levels are still excellent. I played one short game of SC2 and one game of foosball, that's reasonable for my taste.


PS: How are you spending your weekends? What would you like to change?


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Guillermo Mansilla  said on Aug 14, 2010:

I like to study new theory and to investigate about new concepts - tools that could help me to produce better code.

JDG  said on Aug 15, 2010:

Your weekends sound a lot like mine. Unfortunately on the weekends and from about 5:30AM-8AM is the only time I can get anything creative done these days.

Have you read the 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris? Nothing ground breaking for sure, but it's concepts remind you of how much time we spend on checking email, and doing other meaningless tasks.

Good luck with your startup btw!

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