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Staying Healthy As A Developer

Lesson's Master Action

  1. Take at least a week time off. Don't work. Do everything you can to please your body every single minute. Treat it like a child and note down what works well and what doesn't.
  2. Analyze, analyze, analyze. Study your body thoroughly. Understand it 100%.
  3. Start working again and arrange flexible working hours.
  4. While working, your body will behave differently. Continue observing your body and making adjustments to how you treat your body.
  5. Develop a deep relationship with your body over time and never lose it again.

Being a developer is not a very healthy profession - long hours of sitting or standing in front of a computer doesn't promote good health.

In this lesson, we will cover:

My Story

Just a few years ago I had problems with my health.

When working, something would pop inside of my head and I'd feel like I'm not here anymore.

It felt like my brain dumped down all the blood.

For a few minutes, I'd just lie down on the table, praying for it to finish soon.

Sometimes it would happen during meetings - can you imagine how uncomfortable and scary it felt?

Nowadays, I'm the healthiest version of myself I've ever been.

How did I achieve that?

Treat Your Body As Your Child

I started treating my body as my child.

What does your child need to feel good?

Unconditional love.

Unconditional love means listening and responding to every need of your body.

Now before you say: "oh I knew that..." - WAIT!

I'm not sure if you understood it correctly.

Let's say you realize your mind is not working well. You feel you should stop working and go to the gym. So you decide you'll do it in the evening.

Sounds like a good plan, but what's wrong with that?

Your body wants to go to the gym now, and not after 5 hours! Your body already made a plan to do some exercise, recharge the brain battery and get ready for powerful productivity again. But the plan is waiting for execution right now! And you already know that!

If you wait for 5 hours, your body is already fed up with your careless behaviour. As a revenge, that day it will stop doing what you want. And you'll become even more irritated.

You will feel tired as hell, but you will know you're not actually tired. It's just your body playing its revenge game on you.

Do you remember how lovingly your parents treated you when you were a child?

Actually, they didn't treat you. They treated your body.

Now you're an adult. Now it's your responsibility to treat your body with love. Because it still needs that.

If you use force with your body - you will always lose. How can you win a battle against yourself?

If you put unease in your body, it will produce you disease. So better treat it like your child.

Now let's discuss some of the techniques for staying healthy. Keep in mind they won't do any favour for you if you don't listen to your body. 

In other words - going to the gym won't help you if your body doesn't want to.

Techniques Of Staying Healthy

1. Eat well

No fast food. Drink lots of water.

Some of the most productive developers I met were raw vegans. Embark on a long but rewarding journey towards raw veganism: start by going vegetarian, then cooked vegan, and finally raw vegan. I'm a raw vegan myself - let me know if you need any help on your journey.

Nothing else than food will have as big an effect over the way you feel, your mindset or your success.

2. Take pauses

Try using pomodoro technique. After every 25 mins, take a 5 min break.

I usually adjust work and break periods according to the nature of the task. If I'm writing, work periods can be as long as 60min. If I'm programming, it can be 25-90min.

The key here is, again, listen to your body and brain.

3. Sit well behind your computer.

90 degree angles, adjusted heights, sit straight.

Change your sitting places and positions every 2 hours if possible.

Try standing or "hamster wheel" tables as well.

4. Sleep well.

Helps in a lot of aspects: Being healthy, energised, less stressed, less tired, more productive.

I live in a place where airplanes are taking off above my head all the time. So I just use ear plugs and I can still sleep well.

5. Keep yourself fit.

While working, you can do jumping for 5 minutes. It's more powerful than you thought. Try doing that for 15 minutes and you'll see how much sweat you generated.

If you have a sofa/bed at your work place, lie down and then immediately get up. Repeat this for just 1 minute - you will immediately see the benefits.

Choose stairs vs. elevators.

Walk more. Park your car far away from the office, choose public transport, find the route with most walking, ride a bicycle.

In your free time you could go jogging, if boring do sport or take dance lessons.

With exercise, variety is the key: there's no single holy grail. Sometimes cardio (like running) is best for your body. Sometimes resistance training at the gym. Sometimes having a relaxing swim at the pool is best.

6. Go offline from time to time.

What To Do If You're Too Busy

Good physical condition allows you to think better and achieve massive results.

If you're busy at work and you don't find time for maintaining health: arrange flexible hours with your boss and reduce your working time. It's easy, I did it myself at every job I worked and you can do it too. You just need to show responsibility. Stop making excuses for that.

As a result, because of better health you will deliver the same results by working less and flexible hours. It's a win-win situation.

In the end, you can never be too busy to maintain your body. Because that's the most important asset you own. Lose it and you're done.

Master Action

To take immediate benefit from this lesson, I ask you to do the following in the next 3 months:

  1. Take at least a week time off. Don't work. Do everything you can to please your body every single minute. Treat it like a child and note down what works well and what doesn't.
  2. Analyze, analyze, analyze. Study your body thoroughly. Understand it 100%.
  3. Start working again and arrange flexible working hours.
  4. While working, your body will behave differently. Continue observing your body and making adjustments to how you treat your body.
  5. Develop a deep relationship with your body over time and never lose it again.

Nobody has been gifted with a perfect health, but it can be improved for sure. Even if you're suffering from diseases - they can be easily reverted just by changing your diet and how you treat your body in overall.

As an Unbeatable Developer Academy student, you must take care of your health. That's necessary because your goal is to bring exceptional value to the world.

You will never join the club of people who change the world if you don't maintain good physical condition. Because your body is the only tool that you have. And you don't even own it - it's on loan for you. Start treating it like your child now.

Tomas is former CTO and expert developer with 12 years of experience.

He helps developers uncover their full potential at Unbeatable Developer Academy.

His mission is to help 100 million people achieve more freedom in their lives.

LEARN MORE ABOUT TOMAS

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