I'm Jonas Galvez, a writer and coder from Brazil. I build web applications for a living, specialising in UI/UX work with both React and Vue-based architectures, and distributed systems with Node.js, Python and Go.
I'm a software engineer at FLAGCX and senior consultant at STORED. I like minimalism, challenging projects and the rework philosophy.
I'm the creator and maintainer of xmlwitch, a popular Pythonic XML generation library. You should try it.
I am driven by purpose and cultivate a stoic attitude towards life.
I've written about this in the past, but I have since taken down my previous articles because none of them depicted, as it turned out in the years that passed, a truly sustainable approach. That is, this is not going to cover the Pareto principle, or Parkinson's Law, or the fact that 40 hours a week work does not equal more productivity, all the standard advice on sleeping and eating well, exercising regularly, emilinating clutter or limiting attention to distractions. I assume the reader is painfully aware of all this stuff. This is about tracking and maintaining progress – and it's what finally worked for me after 14 years working nearly exclusively remotely.
In 2015, I decided I would dilligently track how many hours I spent coding in the following year, using the pomodoro as a time unit. I barely managed a total of 16 hours of coding time a month in that year. And despite fighting to catch up at the end I was ultimately devasted with my progress.
2016 January ○ February ● March ●● April ●●●●●● May ●●●●● June ●●●● July ●●●●● August ●●● September ●● October ●● November ●● December ●●●●●●●
Each ● (U+25CF) represents 10 pomodoros, and the ○ (U+25CB) at the top represents fewer than 10 pomodoros. As I said, a total productivity disaster. It surely wasn't just laziness – I had a lot going on – but it was no excuse. What I was aiming for was the kind of steadiness that's immune to adversities.
So what does 2017 looks like so far? A lot better. I kept my habit of tracking the time I spend coding, but stopped worrying about tracking the time I spent responding to e-mails, being active in Slack or participating in videoconferences. Worrying about tracking everything is counterproductive. Nevertheless, my 2017 chart has exhibited only steady progress so far:
2017 January ●●●●●●● February ●●●●●●● March ●●●●●●●●● April ●●●●●●●●●●● May ●●●●●●●●●●●● June ●●●●●●●●●●●●
What changed? Aside from the drive to improve after seeing my failure in the 2016 chart, not much changed. I am in complete control of my diet now and make sure I don't ever get any nutrient deficiencies. That is extremely important, but in general, it boils down to a few key principles I started following:
What's next? I didn't mention so far that nearly 40% of my focus time was spent on personal projects, and no matter how hard I seem to work, I never truly get tired or burned out anymore. My ultimate goal this year is to get to a baseline of 60 hours of coding time a month, intertwined with general availability in business hours. My current employer has been amazing at recognizing my productivity and has given me an open contract, so if you have an interesting project that needs a full stack developer slash project manager, get in touch!