Edit – I received some feedback in a comment that indicated some problems with my routine. So, I did some reading and have decided to change my routine. I have updated the article accordingly.
When I was young, I used to be able to get away with whatever I threw at my body. Write code for 16 hours off of two hours of sleep? No problem. Spend a week living off of pizza pops and coffee? Sign me up…
Then, I turned 35 and everything went to hell. By day 3 of the Pizza Pops and coffee diet, I could qualify for Red Cross emergency aid. All of a sudden, my routine started to get important.
Adding yoga into my routine has made a big difference. Now when I wake up, I start with light cardio to warm up my cold/stiff muscles, do a few rounds of sun salutations and then do a short guided meditation. Afterwards, I make tea or coffee and do a few hours of extremely productive work before my kid wakes up.
I think both practices have made a difference. While I wouldn’t say that my code is objectively better, my commit history is generally more consistent. I feel more creative and it’s easier to focus. Physically speaking, I can usually avoid the 3pm jitters that usually make my afternoons a little sketchy.
But don’t take my word for it. Try it out yourself – my routine will take less than 15 minutes. Give it a try for two weeks and see what you think. Report back in the comments.