Exercise & Programming

Posted: May 04, 2012 Comments(2)

Exercise & Programming by Alex MacCaw.

I can’t put enough emphasis on this article. I noticed about six months to a year ago that the ease of operating on 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night had seemingly left me. For a long time I would stay up late and get up early for class or work and not have too much difficulty with it. It was becoming really discouraging and draining and contributing to an overall bad attitude for me.

I decided to do something about it, so I started running in the morning. In an effort to retain some sort of accountability I told my wife of my plans and she helped me remember to get to bed a bit earlier so as to make room for running in the morning. I had become quite used to rolling out of bed and heading straight to work, so getting up earlier than the last minute possible conflicted with my routine of procrastination.

I hated every morning of it. Every day my alarm would buzz at 5:03 in the morning and I had to progressively move it further away from the bed because I’d subconsciously shut it off and crawl back into bed if I didn’t. I noticed something though. After a couple weeks of the routine, I felt like a different person. My aimless anxiety had subsided and I felt productive, I felt good. Then I came down with the flu and everything stopped. I fell out of my running routine and like a pendulum my drive has suffered. I get anxious from what feels like a lack of productivity, but at the same time I don’t have motivation. I’m no scientist but it appears to me that I need to get back in the routine as fast as I can.

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  1. Exercise is a very important part of keeping your mind sharp and your productivity high. As much as we love to sit and rot in front of a screen, we need to balance the sitting with some activity. I also find that putting your focus and energy into something that is purely physical is a good detachment from the 9-5 grind,wich is nearly all mental. Nothing helps me solve a programming problem more than dwelling on it during a long run and trying to think outside the box a little.

    Good luck with the running!

  2. Ah! I’ve been in the exact same situation so many times. You go a few months even, then get sick and have to quit for a while. Getting back is so difficult. I listened to this audiobook a while back that could help motivate you. One of the key ideas is that you can get yourself to do things by taking away the choice. That is, your powerful gut nature wants to sleep in or watch TV or overeat. You set up rules like always getting up immediately when the alarm clock goes off so your brain and gut don’t have to battle all the time. Check it out…


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