Eat, Sleep, Code, Recharge: Downtime Matters for Developers

June 7, 2016 - 2 minutes read

mobile app developers

The iPhone app development community, more so than other industries, places an extremely high value on efficiency and commitment to the craft. The ideal coder spends virtually every waking moment working through difficult engineering challenges and building digital products. The ideal mobile app coder doesn’t waste time cooking — instead, they drink soylent. They don’t waste time driving, shopping, or drinking on the weekends. Instead, they use Uber, subscription services, and save up their R&R for the annual company retreat.

…But is the “eat, sleep, code” mantra necessarily a healthy way to live? Does it always result in top-notch code and company success? We would tend to argue for a modified mantra: “eat, sleep, code, recharge.” That being said, the definition of “recharge” for Android app developers is very different from the norm. It’s the difference between drinking in front of the TV and meditating at a zen retreat; both are ways of recharging, but one builds your mental stability while the other, at best, just distracts you.

Unfortunately, many Toronto iPhone app developers view recharging — even “healthy” recharging like meditation and family time — as a distraction. While anyone who practices a morning meditation can tell you purpose is to focus and boost efficiency, the logic of “preparing for the attack” isn’t obvious to everyone.

“If I had six hours to cut down a tree, I’d spend the first four sharpening the saw.”
— Abraham Lincoln

You can see this disbalance played out in almost every entrepreneur in the first five years of business. Burnout is bad, but that doesn’t stop first-time mobile app developers and business owners from working 15-hour days, year after year, chasing the dream. If you’re one of the rare personalities who thrive on that sort of adrenaline, that’s a different story — but for most of us, it’s important to take time to step back. The perspective never hurts.

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