Disclaimer: In this post, I will mention yoga. Please do not disregard this post due to my mention of yoga. The subject matter of this post is not yoga, but priorities.
I have struggled with some priorities lately. As a developer at Lifeblue, I want to always be smarter, faster and more efficient. I try to stay up to date on current and evolving development practices so my team and I also stay current and evolving. To do this as a Team, we share links and talk about what we see out in the world wide web of Front End Development. On a personal level, I add links to my Pocket app (thanks Jonny) to read later. The struggle here is that I never truly get back to those links, and sometimes feel like I am falling behind due to my lack of an ability to remember to go “play with the code”. All of this got me thinking, how can I make becoming a better Front End Developer (FED) a priority? This is when I started thinking about my journey towards mobility and yoga.
I have raced dirt bikes my entire life, but I haven’t needed serious surgery until 2009. Though the doctors fixed the immediate problems, there were other long term issues that came from these injuries and surgeries. I did the rehab they suggested, but was always in some type of pain that rehab couldn’t fix. Finally after a quick google search for ways to alleviate shoulder pain, I found a site called MobilityWOD.
Through MobilityWOD, I learned how to use a lacrosse ball and some mobility movements to alleviate a lot of the daily discomfort. The light bulb went off, I knew I needed to keep this up, but I didn’t know how. I didn’t know how to make this a priority in my life. My health/fitness journey started around this time as well, so I planned to get to the gym early, or stay late, to give myself 5-10 minutes of mobility specific movements. This worked, but looking back it was a poor attempt at truly making mobility work a priority in my life.
After 4-5 years of this routine, I found yoga. I had always wanted to do yoga, but adding another hour class and another monthly membership seemed impossible. The stars aligned and I was able to start doing yoga while at a previous employer. Within the first few weeks, these lunch yoga sessions began helping me with my mobility and my ailments in ways that nothing had done so in the past. I immediately knew I needed to add this to my life, and it needed it to be a priority that very few things could get in the way of. I did something that day that helped me make it a priority, I added it to my calendar.
After a year and a half of doing yoga, I have missed very few sessions. Life does get in the way, but for me, adding it to my calendar helped make it a priority. Nothing else could get scheduled over it without me accepting that it was more important than that hour of yoga.
This calendar is also the family calendar and shared with my wife. I needed her to know that it was a priority for me. So if I missed it, or started adding things over it, she could see that and help keep me accountable. It’s worked. So much so that there are evenings she asks me how yoga went, and it keeps me on track.
As a developer who wants to continue to get better at his craft, I need to make it a priority in my life. Knowing that I have now found a path for making activities in my life a priority, I am going to see what happens when I add that time to my calendar. I am going to prioritize time in my life to read links, play with code and truly learn. I’ll start small, maybe 30 minutes, to work my way into the new routine and see how it goes. If that seems to work for me and I am making the gains as a developer I want to see, I’ll keep it at 30 minutes. If I need more time, I’ll up the time frame. We shall see.
I want you to know that we all struggle with priorities. If you have something you want to make a bigger priority in your life, add it to the calendar. Find someone to share that calendar with that will keep you accountable. From there, learn, grow, adapt, and see where you go!
If you have a process that helps keep you accountable for your priorities, I would love to hear them. Please share! Thanks for reading.