Anxiety-free working

15 April 2020

I feel it really hard to work these days without feeling anxious. A Slack ping here, an interesting tweet there, some emails to answer, articles to read that are piling up... With that set up, not only I can't concentrate, but I deliver poorly. All my mental energy is disseminated and I look like a zombie at the end of the day.

To fix that, I've done the following adjustments to the way I approach spending time with computers:

  • I only check social networks when I'm mentally exhausted (i.e. at the end of the day).
  • If I think there's something worth sharing, I use Buffer instead of openning Twitter and be trapped by the unceasing stream of new things.
  • I use to asynchronous communications over real-time ones like Slack. I'm moving Tuist's discussions to GitHub issues and a community forum. At work, we are trying to use GitHub issues and documents more.
  • I reduced the Slack groups I'm part of, especially the community ones. I'm already doing my part of helping the community by building Tuist.
  • I time-box the time that I dedicate to certain tasks like reading email, answering messages on Slack, or doing open source.
  • I minimize my go-to programming languages and tools and be ok with not keeping up with updates. I became a goal-oriented engineer rather than technology-enthusiastic. Swift and Ruby are just technologies that enable me to achieve certain goals.

From all of the above, the ones that have helped me the most are being ok with not keeping up with things, and moving away from quick and unceassing communications that happen on platforms like Twitter, or Slack.

I'm way more relieved now, and I feel I can deliver much better things without feeling anxious at all.

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