Author: Viktorija Nikoloska
Not all working days are the same for software developers. However, developers spend most of their time seated in front of a computer, coding all day (and night) and trying to meet predetermined deadlines. In almost all situations, web developers seem to behave as machines who only care about the task they need to complete for the day, and many of them believe that they can function solely on coffee. Thus, they do not pay enough attention to their health and are leading an unhealthy lifestyle.
Developers are highly encouraged to use regular breaks in their working days in order to endure the difficulty of their daily tasks. Taking breaks for different reasons have proven to be beneficial to the work efficiency of programmers. Continue reading the sections below to find out 7 most useful ways that website developers could use to break their daily work routines:
- Take Regular Pauses in Between Tasks
- Use the Pomodoro Technique (Tomato Timer)
- Make Pauses for Food and Beverages
- Go out for Fresh Air and Natural Light
- Listen to Music
- Play games
- Intensify Sports Activities and Exercises
Take Regular Pauses in Between Tasks
Programming is not an easy job, mainly because software developers are often faced with long hours of sitting in front of their computers and coding. This may prove to be unhealthy for them. Therefore, they need to take regular pauses in between tasks. The main routine breaker for software developers is to organize their tasks in a specific order and take consistent pauses after a predetermined period of time. They can use their breaks as a way to distract themselves from work and to clear their minds through activities that may improve the quality of their work.
Regardless of the activity that programmers choose, they will notice how taking a break in their daily routine can help them think better about the task at hand and help them figure out how to complete the work for that day in the most efficient way possible.
Use the Pomodoro Technique (Tomato Timer)
Software developers are encouraged to use the Pomodoro Technique as one of their routine breakers. Pomodoro means “tomato” in Italian, and the technique is named after the tomato timer that had been primarily used as a cooking tool. Nowadays, the Pomodoro technique is a useful time management method that helps developers break down their work into equal intervals.
In general, each interval, also known as Pomodoro, lasts 25 minutes and is followed by a short break of three to five minutes. This technique is nowadays becoming more and more popular among programmers as a routine breaker, especially after the creation of applications and websites such as Tomato Timer and Pomodoro Timer & To-Do List.
Make Pauses for Food and Beverages
Programmers are frequently overwhelmed with work and forget that they need to try and keep a healthy lifestyle, despite the workload they have in front of them. Therefore, they need to keep in mind that they must make short breaks for food and beverages between different tasks. A good routine breaker for software developers is to make pauses to drink water or eat lunch/dinner after each task, for instance.
However, programmers often drink beverages or eat their food while sitting in front of computers and even while working. This is wrong. If they really want to get benefit from the break, they are highly encouraged to change their room or office and go someplace else to eat or drink. That way, web developers will be able to clear their minds and to freshen up before they get back to work.
Go out for Fresh Air and Natural Light
Sitting in front of a computer for many hours may cause software developers to feel sleepy or even nauseous. Moreover, staring at a computer screen all day long may also cause fatigue, headaches, and migraines. Therefore, one of the routine breakers that programmers need to use more often during their working hours is to take pauses for fresh air and natural light.
Inhaling fresh air increases the oxygen level in the lungs, thus increases the clarity of the brain and helps developers focus better on work assignments. Furthermore, natural daylight reminds the body that it should still stay active because outside of the office is still daytime. Therefore, web developers and other employees who spend their days in a closed and dark office need to breathe fresh air and expose themselves to natural light at least once per hour.
Listen to Music
Although some people believe that music can be a distraction, it is a good routine breaker, especially in stressful situations. Software developers are encouraged to listen to energetic music in order to stay focused on their work, but also to keep a higher level of happiness.
Music stimulates neurotransmitters in the brain, and it helps in minimizing the distractions that may come from the office or other co-workers. Nowadays, there are tons of music compilations for concentration, inspiration, focus, etc. Web developers are encouraged to listen to steady or upbeat music without lyrics that will help them stay focused on their complicated work assignments.
Playing games is an excellent way to break a daily work routine, especially when dealing with loads of work and stressful situations. Gaming relaxes the software developers’ brains after a hard day’s work and helps them get distracted from problems and stress. However, although it may seem like a good work routine breaker, programmers are not fully advised to spend their breaks just on gaming, because they usually play games on their phones, tablets, and even the same computers that they work on.
To utilize the real effect of gaming during a work break, web developers are encouraged to get a bigger projector screen that will be at least 10 meters further than them. Otherwise, using electronic devices may only cause sleep deprivation and will not help in getting refreshed during a break from work.
Note: Playing board games may be an even better alternative than playing phone games and staring at a phone screen on your work break. You can bring your favorite board games from home, or you can purchase one for the office.
Intensify Sports Activities and Exercises
Another way of breaking a daily working routine of a software developer is to exercise and play sports activities in the office. It’s a fact that regular exercise and sports activities boost the employee’s concentration. Some companies offer gym discounts to their employees as a way to help them stay fit and healthy despite their workload.
However, when a company has a low budget for such discounts, web developers may use their creativity and choose between the following sports activities for the office:
- Table Tennis (Connect two tables, pile up books in the middle to act as a net, and buy a set of bats and ping pong balls)
- Basketball (Attach a plastic basketball hoop to an office wall and get small plastic basketball)
- Football (Create a goal in the space between two desks and get a soccer ball)
- Darts (Hang a board on an office wall and get harmless soft darts)
These are only the basic things that software developers can do on their break from work. No matter which of these routine breakers you will choose, it will definitely turn out to be beneficial for your health. What is your favorite routine breaker as a software developer in an IT company?