Work Rhythms

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about my “ideal day” in terms of the ebb and flow of work. I’m at a new contract location which has required me to change my rhythms, and the initial lack of “flow” was definitely noticeable.

My ideal workday would go something like this:

6:00 AM – 6:30 AM Check e-mail, put out fires, RSS
6:30 – 7:00 Get ready for work
7:30 – 9:30 First burst of programming
9:30 – 10:00 Coffee / diversion away from keyboard
10:00 – 12:00 Second burst of programming
12:00 – 2:00 Lunch, relax, errands
2:00 – 4:30 Third burst of programming
4:30 – 8:00 Home, personal and family time
8:00 – 9:30 Catch up on e-mail, light R&D, bugfix

Total work time: 8.5 hours
Total programming time: 6.5 hours

The longest heads-down session in this scenario is 2.5 hours, which is about as long as I can concentrate in one sitting. I find the frequent changes pleasant and refreshing.

How about you? What’s your ideal work day?

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2 Responses to “Work Rhythms”


  1. 1 Adam May 12, 2008 at 11:47 am

    I thought about it, and my time is much more of a mush these days. I wake up, code until I can’t think straight, then I check the news and maybe work on my blog, code some more, eat something, hit the gym, talk about work with others, then code some more. I have no work life “balance”, only varying degrees of work. And it’s WONDERFUL. So… my ideal day doesn’t have a schedule.

  2. 2 Marina Martin May 12, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    No schedule here. I’m allergic to ’em.

    The only thing I do fairly regularly is go for a run when it gets dark out. I prefer to shower and get dressed after that run, but sometimes my presence is required in the daylight, so I have to shower twice. Boo.

    That’s the one inefficienct aspect of my life that I still struggle with. And no, going for a run during the day isn’t the answer 😉

    Otherwise: Wake up, Work, Putter intermittently, Sleep, Repeat.


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