Dominic Batstone


Software Development, Process Improvement and Career Progression.

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Dominic Batstone

Stop procrastinating, get off your ass and do something

31st March 2016

It's been a tough year at work. We've produced some great work yet in the eyes of a the big corporation none of that seems to matter. We've been battered by pension cuts, bonus cuts, benefit cuts, lack of resources and more. Big corporate really knows how to disengage people!

Don't worry. If you're in the same boat as me it's easy to see those negatives, but turn it around and think of the positives. Take a minute to think of the good things happening at work.

From my point of view; We have jobs, we all have creature comforts, we can come and go as we please and we can personally make a difference, such as suggesting new tools or process changes. I'm also lucky that I have a great boss who appreciates what we do and I hope you do to.

Saying that, there's more to life than just working for the corporation. There's not enough time in the day to sit around moaning about how they're treating us. Don't waste your time on negativity, because it is corporate life. You're a number. Deal with it an move on.

Thankfully, as developers there's always those little ideas floating around in our head. We're so lucky that we have chosen a career where we can produce the end product ourselves in our own time. Why not just do it?

It's easy to suggest it but it's far easier to sit and watch the latest episode of The Walking Dead or have a nice meal with our partner or relax for a few minutes that turns into many minutes. Why is it so hard to just start on your idea?

I mean, as developers we have access to all the tools. Even if we don't have our own tools they are usually freely available. Visual Studio Essentials for Microsoft developers. It's probably the same for all other languages too.

As I sit here now writing this blog, I'm installing Visual Studio 2015 with Update 2 that adds Xamarin support ready to continue my idea which has been on pause for a few weeks.

Why the sudden surge of energy to do something?

I think I may have reached some-kind of crossroads, some would say a mid-life crisis, but it is not a crisis, it is a mid-life-resurgence.

A few weeks ago, I thought I didn't really have enough time in the day. I mean I get back from work, put the kids to bed, chill out with the missus (Walking Dead or Agents of Shield), do some chores and then maybe, just maybe do a Pluralsight course or read my CISSP self-study guide. Then bed.

What has changed? Well not much, I just decided to be more regimented to get more things done in my day.

I get up at 4AM on 2 to 3 days a week to go to my local 24hour gym. I ride there on my bike as a warm up. This gives me more time in the morning to get some stuff done, to help my partner and get the kids ready for the day. Obviously getting up super early is not for everyone, but I've known for years that I can deal comfortably with 6 hours sleep without feeling tired during the day, so as long as I get the magic 6hours then getting up at 4AM is just a state of mind.

Secondly I try to eat healthier. As developers we generally have poor diets, so doing something about that has got to be good. I have a few extra pounds (well, many pounds too be honest) and I want to be around for my kids to grow up. We have purchased a Nutri Ninja which helps make a great healthy breakfast.

Finally I signed up for a trial of Audible the audio book company. I added a load of books to my list, but really wanted to hear something non-technical. Tony Robbins books always seem to get rave reviews. I recently read a crazy article about his morning routine that involves cryotherapy and an ice bath! Have a look at Tony's morning routine which made me want to find out more about his work.

My first Audible book was Awaken the Giant Within and man, that book really spoke to me. I listened while I drove to work and I listened on the way home. (It's short at under two hours). It is powerful stuff.

At the end of the day we procrastinate because we are scared of failure. It is easier to sit on our asses than it is to suffer the "pain" of starting our own project. What if it fails? What if it makes no money? Will it be a waste of time?

Why all the questions? Sitting down watching TV will not write your code, will not start your project, and will not turn you into the next mark Zuckerberg. You'll be like the other 99.9% and just exist, but not make your dreams a reality.

I urge you to think about what you want from your life. As a developer you have the ability to make your own ideas come to fruition. we are in such a special position, it would be a crime not to. What other career could give us the tools and knowledge for free and can produce a product that could change our lives and the lives of others?

Finally, read or listen to Awaken The Giant Within. It is truly remarkable and may just be the tipping point to change your life.

Just stop procrastinating, get off your ass and do something.

Culture & Security focussed developer finding ways to increase happiness and efficiency so we can all work easier with better quality code, relationships and lives.

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