Coding is an activity that we here at Blipcom really enjoy doing. Its obvious we enjoy it otherwise we wouldn’t be able to sit hours on end in front of the computer bashing away at the keyboard and occasionally on the table when things don’t work . I personally have enjoyed coding since I first started to learn back at high-school. I found the idea that you can sit on your backside with nothing more then a computer an idea and ultimately create something totally awesome/useable/useful with just abit of time as investment really alluring. No wood, no metal, no chemicals, no materials nothing …. its awesome right ?!
Well Yes ! it is … For the most part, however therein lies part of the problem with coding. Coding is purely an intellectual activity, other then the slight movement of your fingers you get absolutely no opportunity to use your body or get any exercise. This means that as coders (without any inherit body activities within our work scope) we need to spend extra time outside of our working day to get the exercise that we need.
With a startup however time is one of the things you dont really have much of especially if you are bootstrapping and juggling other responsibilities also. As a result you might have to make tradeoffs.
Sometimes an idea or a solution comes to you during your “alloted” exercise time and a choice needs to be made, “do I sit on the computer and fix the problem” or do I stick with my exercise schedule”. In my case, i would say, “if i forgot this solution or idea i might loose 2-3 hours thinking about it again” SO i would choose to sit on the computer and work on the problem. Eventually this can happen enough times that you start to loose motivation to continue with your exercise regime and you slip back into getting lazy about your daily gym or jog session.
So there is a deeper question. Should i risk bits and pieces of my health (lack of sleep here, missing lunch or dinner there, eating crap food at a coding session or skip the morning jog session) for a short term product progress gain ? The simple answer is NO however im sure at some stage all of us coders have done it. Making the choice is something that i struggle with myself. Its never been difficult for me to exercise and keep a schedule but because ensuring that progress is made within our product is very important to me, its one of those things that may override my daily planned schedule.
As I type this post, im doing so with a bit of a flu and a headache and I think its probably because i didn’t have enough sleep and rest. As a result i lost yesterday’s progress which i had planned for our mobile application along with parts of today. In retrospect i probably should have got enough sleep and not pushed it as hard the last 3 days.
So the moral of the story is, in my attempts to get things done faster by sacrificing sleep and rest, i have instead managed to get delayed further because i got sick and unwell. This can be thought of as the same in the longer term if you dont watch your health in general. I think sacrificing many things for the pursuit of success in a startup is OK, but i think one of the things which you shouldn’t sacrifice (even if its hard and even if you cant help it) is your health.
Basically without health having all the success in the world means nothing ….