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Author: Timer Mike Language: text
Description: RSI Work Regime Timestamp: 2021-02-22 23:09:48 +0000
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  1. Chris, Mike,
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  3. When Chris mentioned his ongoing battle against RSI on episode 401, it got me thinking about a few coding techniques I rely on.
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  5. I'm a newcomer to Coder Radio (since the reboot), so this topic has probably come up before. However, in a recent episode, Mike remarked about his Pomodoro timer app not working with no further mention of the Pomodoro technique.
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  7. I'm not sure when or how I came across the technique, but it has been a regular part of my development process for at least 10 years.  I imagine Mike can give a detailed definition of the process, but for me, it boils down to the following steps:
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  9.     I try to distill tasks into simple sentences that can be definitively marked as "done" when they are, in fact, done.  An example from my current list: "Account record updated when Cognito user is updated."  
  10.     Tasks should be completable in 30 minutes to an hour and no more than 2 hours.  I try to keep to this, but I often lean toward the 2 - 3 hour side of things.
  11.     Work time comprises 25 minutes of focused, distraction-free effort followed by 5 minutes of  "something entirely different".  This is where I've been able to improve my RSI health.  Giving my hands and body a 5-minute break from behind the computer seems to make all the difference in the world.  When I'm under time pressure, I'll sometimes abandon my breaks and keep cranking.  When I do this for long, I invariably find that my hands and forearms become sore.
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  13. Over the last year, I started creating a "To Do Today" sheet where I list out my distilled tasks along with the day's date.  I use the leftover space as a doodle pad for ideas and notes, and then at the end of the day (or more often the start of the next), I make a journal entry on the back of the sheet summarizing my thoughts on the work that was done and what needs attention next.  I now have a year's worth of these sheets that fill a three-ring binder.  I doubt I will ever go through and read every one of those sheets, but when you work with intangible goods like software, it's nice to see a stack of something in the real world.
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  15. I've tried various software timers over the years, and they've all had something that made them difficult to stick with. When I started blaming those timers for not following the technique, I decided to toss them all and get an old-school kitchen timer from Amazon. It's not great, but it doesn't crash, nor does it stop ticking when my OS crashes. I think there's a JB Swag opportunity for the "Coder Countdown", put me down for 3!
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  17. Congrats on 400+ shows!
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  19. Cheers,
  20. Mike
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