Surviving Bootcamp

I’m now coding 8-9 hours a day at FullStack and at home.  That’s on top of 2 hours of commuting (when I’m also reading coding blogs…). This can be mentally and physically exhausting, but after six weeks, I’ve learned some tricks to keep me going. 

BOOTCAMP KEYS TO SUCCESS:

1. Plan Ahead

I don’t have time to rush around the house looking for my shoes, or to run out to the grocery store at the last minute if I forgot something.  I plan the week’s meals — lunch and dinner — on the weekends, and prepare anything I’ll need.  I tend to cook in bulk and eat a lot of leftovers. Likewise, each night I pack my bag for the next day, including laying out my clothes on a chair.  

2. Healthy Snacks

I keep healthy snacks around at all times to keep me energized.  There’s nothing more awful than the feeling I get after eating a bunch of junk food.  When I’m tempted to eat a big bowl of ice cream, I head for the orange juice pops in my freezer.  I keep almonds in my bag, for the days when I’m on the go and need some sustenance.  When I’m coding and I get the munchies, I turn to fresh veggies like celery and carrots, or to those thick pretzels that have satisfying crunch with very few calories.  I always eat a lot of protein for lunch, and that combined with healthy snacks sustains me through the day.

3. Flow

Each day, I try to do one activity that completely takes my mind off of coding, something I really enjoy.  The ones that work best are right-brained activities where you can get totally absorbed.  I like playing the piano, working on an art project or a puzzle, or tackling an organization project around the house.  I finish these activities feeling refreshed, almost as if some kind of reset button has been triggered in my mind.

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