Dealing with Stress as a Developer
- Name: Daniel Worthy
- Married: Amanda
- Kids: 2
- Occupation 1: Rockfish Digital, Enterprise Architect
- Occupation 2: U of A ITR, FE Instructor
- The Socials:
I like to build stuff with:
Primary Areas of Focus
- Before Work
- During Work
- After Work
- What to do if nothing seems to work
Why is stress different for developers
- Our job is hard
- Almost 100% mental
- Rarely something we can control or directly influence
- Our work is frequently at the end of the projet pipeline
Iterate Techniques to Find What Works
- Try new things periodically
- Don't waste time or money on stuff that doesn't help.
Before Work Stress Relief
How to setup for a successful day.
Turn the Coffee Pot On
Do this before anything else....
unless it automatically comes on.
Make Your Bed!
- Encourages good habits
- Immediate sense of accomplishment
- Clean bed === less cluttered room
- Little things right lead to big things right
- Bad days end with a well made bed
Plan Your Day
Spend 5 minutes and get a rough plan of the day and do your best to stick with it.
- Finish Feature
- Start Code Review
- Email Fred
Don't Do List:
- Watch Youtube
- Browse Amazon.com
- Yell at Ted
Exercising in the morning is one of the best ways to kick off your day.
But working out sucks....
Yes, but successful people do it!
- Ease into it - don't start with working 1 hour a day 7 days a week.
- Find resources - nerdfitness.com,
- Set realistic goals - reward yourself for small victories
- Find what is right for you - ignore the fad diets and workout routines
- Job Performance
- Social Stressors
- Drive Bys
- Social Media
- Long Days
Get Frequent Feedback
A common cause of anxiety and stress is not knowing how well you are performing. Annual evaluations don't provide enough
information to go off of for very long.
Beware of the complement sandwich.
Weekly 1 on 1s with your boss.
Monthly 1 on 1s with your boss's boss.
- 1 on 1s with a member of your HR team
Complaining provides you stress relief with instant gratification, but it's not a very effective long term solution.
- Find someone you trust
- Complain to attempt to find a solution
- Complain up the chain, not down SPR
- Don't vent on social media
- Write yourself an email
Don't be a Perfectionist
Learn what "good enough" is and move on
Office Politics, Drama & Gossip
- Politics - No
- Drama - No
- Gossip - No
- Focus on your job and responsibilities.
Losing focus is the biggest hinderance to your productivity throughout the day. It can take up to 20 minutes to get back
to focused when distracted.
Remix Your Soundtrack
Use music to block out ambient noise around you.
Don't listen to
- music with lyrics
- music with ads
- aggressive music
- Play it and leave it
- Classical Orchestra music - Prime Music
- Video Game music
- Layer white noise - Noisli
Cheap Noise Cancelling Headphones
Minimize the number of times you check your email and make rules like crazy.
- Invites - immediately into 'Invites' folder
- External Email - '@' is in senders name except if it contains 'rockfish' or client name
- CC - my name is in CC and not high importance
- BCC/Distro - my name is not in To and not high importance. Relies on CC rule
- Inbox - Everything else
- Client Rule Only - Only runs when Outlook is open.
These tools greatly help team communication, but wreck your productivity.
- Mute casual channels - general, random, common interest
- Fine tune your notification preferences
- Hide images by default.
- Treat it as an asynchronous communication channel
- Staying sane with Slack
Tame Your Social Media - Triggers
- Don't unfriend, just unfollow their posts.
- Different Opinions
- Don't read the comments
- Don't take it personally.
Tame Your Social Media - Distractions
Not everyone can get an office and shut the door. Protect yourself from the drive-by conversations.
- Set expectations for those around you
- Set a designated DnD time for your team.
- Use a DnD sign.
Do Not Disturb Indicators
Work from Home/Off Site
- Should be treated as a privilege
- Only if it's ok with your team
- Only when necessary
It's important to take short regular breaks to give your brain a rest. Get away from your desk.
- Pomodoro Technique
- Walk - focus on what you are stuck on or what you have accomplished
- Walking Meetings - turn small meetings and 1 on 1s into walking meetings
- Screenless Lunches - don't eat your lunch at your desk.
- Meditate / Pray / Think
Swallow your pride and ask for help
You never know if something you are stuck on is actually really easy.
Get A Fidget Thing
Cube... Spinner.... it doesn't matter.
Don't say no, but don't say yes.
Saying "No" can leave a teammate hanging, but saying "Yes" disrupts your work.
- Can you do it or do you know it?
- Can it wait?
- Can it go to someone else?
- Don't become a super hero!
No good code is written after the 10th hour.
On Your Way Out
Tidy up your workspace on the way out the door.
On The Road Home
- Take the long way home
- Avoid busy streets
- Turn the radio off and think
Depressurize When You Get Home
Drop your bag and go sit undisturbed for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Sit on your back porch and just listen
- Think about what you accomplished during the day
- Thorns & Roses for bad days
- Unless your kids want to snuggle
Leave Work at Work
Many people struggle with fully disconnecting from work.
- Disconnect your email from your phone
- Save any emails as drafts instead of sending
- Set expectations with boss and coworkers
Pick hobbies and projects that don't require a high level of effort or time commitment.
- Keep your side projects as non-income side projects.
- Freelance at your own risk. Don't buy into Ted's closet "startup"
- Get outside.
- Cooperative over competitive
- Swallow your pride play on easy and feel unstoppable.
- Find creative games
- Watch instead of play
Don't play Fifa with your friends
or Dark Souls... ever
- Less Competitive Reality
- Less News
- Fewer Sports
- More Laughs
Read for Fun
Set a goal to read a book about a new topic every other week.
Designated 'Me' Nights
- No interruptions
- No responsibilities
- No excuses
- Return the favor
Plan out tomorrow.
Turn the TV off.
Get Enough Sleep
Get Between 7 and 9 Hours
Avoid alcohol and caffeine in the evenings
There are many different medications to help you get over that initial "bump" of dealing with anxiety, stress and depression.
This is not a "give up strategy." This is acknowledging you are not invincible.
Evaluate your situation
- Would you be happier just coding as a hobby?
- Does your company bring out the best in you?
Complete An Evaluation Form & Win
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