Jul 21, 2022 by Matt Dixon
Optimizing your lifestyle for work is an occurrence that every working adult tries to accomplish. Figuring out the work-life balance you need is pivotal to mental health but isn’t as easily accessible to everyone. Working in the tech industry, work culture is a critical factor in the work process. Remote and hybrid workplaces make any working situation better especially in our line of work. But no two tech companies are the same, and the best work culture seems to come from bigger corporations.
Optimizing a lifestyle will look different for everyone. We all have different circumstances and work for different companies with different expectations but these lifestyle tips should help anyone working in the tech industry. I bring up workplace culture so much because it’s due to my work environment, the companies I’ve worked for, and the business that I’ve started that I was able to optimize my life.
These tips are a basic blueprint for optimizing any lifestyle, especially for someone in this industry and with this role.
The routine is probably the most important part of my lifestyle optimization process. I need a solidified regimen that I adhere to. Routines can change but having a constant routine in place keeps you accountable for your actions and more likely to complete the tasks at hand.
We are creatures of habit so if you want to change your life, change your habits. Time management is a major benefit of having a focused routine. You set the duration of time you should be working on each task. You stay organized this way and ensure that your work is getting completed by the time it needs to be done. Whether it's a paper-based written routine or a digital one, find what works best for you and your lifestyle and optimize your work process for the better.
Pro Tip: Eliminate every distraction in your workspace, including your phone. Turn off sounds and notifications to your phone, computer, emails, etc. This will ensure that you’ll stay focused.
Performing some type of physical activity is important for every lifestyle. Moving your body is healthy so whether it’s getting up to stretch your legs after being at your computer for a few hours or walking to the mailbox, you should be moving in some type of capacity. Try getting some steps in during the day, your body will appreciate it and your mind will love the mental break from work. Our bodies aren’t meant to sit for eight to ten hours a day, or however long your work day is, so go take a break and move your body. You’d be surprised what something as simple as standing can do for your energy levels and mood.
Pro Tip: Having tools like a sit/stand desk can help boost your productivity. Sometimes all we need is to get out of our chairs to help us get back into our work processes.
The technology industry is ever-changing and in a constant state of creating new things. I say this because we have to constantly be learning new things to stay competitive. With all the great developers in the world, how do you stand out from the crowd? You constantly learn and are up-to-date with industry trends. You are in the constant practice of your craft and you actually should like the process of it- This always seems to make for a better outcome. Adopting a growth mindset is easy when you are willing to be present in the consistent change that makes up this industry.
Pro Tip: Adopt this way of thinking. “The same thinking that got you into the problem, won’t get you out of it”- this is the epitome of the logic of a growth mindset.
Saying “no” at work can be difficult especially when you want to be a team player. But saying “no” is pivotal to your work process including what you accomplish during the day and your stress levels. I’ve never had a hard time saying no in the workplace. I’ve always had the mindset that “if I haven’t gotten my tasks done, how can I help someone else”? I do try and help when I can but my work is the priority. Being your best self is being able to set healthy boundaries at your work to create the balance you need to efficiently get the job done. Even if you do have free time, saying no can help you focus on yourself. Burnout is a real occurrence, so don’t burn yourself out trying to help everyone.
Pro Tip: Remember the more you say ‘Yes’ to helping everyone, the more you solidify a reputation of helping take care of others' responsibilities. - Help when you have time, when you are up to it, and when you know you can effectively deliver results.
The right equipment can make or break what you do. Not having the right materials can make your work process harder and less effective. Investing in the right gear can take your skills to the next level. An optimized lifestyle has an optimized work process and you can’t have that without the proper resources. Having the proper tools ensures you can effectively get projects and tasks done, you can meet company goals, and exceed your personal career goals. Investing in your work environment can be the boost your work process needs to produce the quality of work you desire.
Pro Tip: Ergonomics is important to your work set-up. Having things at proper heights and angles can elevate your work process by making you more comfortable.
Having a balanced life is being able to work effectively and being able to enjoy your life. You have to remember that your job, although important, isn’t the most important thing in your life. Try to enjoy the things that make you happy. It’s easier said than done though. Overworking is common in software development so it’s essential to focus on your work-life balance. You have to find what works best for you. I prioritize my work schedule but at a particular time every day, I’m done. I go over my stop time if there are deadlines I haven’t met or want to try to finish something early, or whatever the situation might be. But my time is essential to my mental health. You have relationships, hobbies, and priorities outside of work, and it’s easy to neglect them. Take the time you need, to do what you want to do. You’ll feel better at the end of the day and more ready to start a new work day.
Pro Tip: Scheduling your breaks, stop time and hobbies will lead you to a more efficient and effective work process. This produces a better quality of work, boosted energy, and elevated performance.
I optimized my lifestyle as a developer and tech entrepreneur using these tips. How you optimize your lifestyle is dependent on you, your needs, your company’s expectations, requirements, and specifications. I utilized these tips and can say that they do make the working process better. I’m happier at the end of the day, my quality of work is above standard and I have time for what makes me happy. What works for me, might not work for you, but this is a good place to start. With 20-plus years in the tech industry, I can confidently say that utilizing these tactics can help the worst developer become the best and the best developer become even better.
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