inessential by Brent Simmons

Stop When It’s Time to Stop

Dave Winer reminds me of a lesson I’ve learned and forgotten and re-learned a zillion times: stop programming when it turns into a slog.

The funny part to me is his description of his schedule — not because it’s funny but because it’s so unlike mine:

Finally, you give up after a couple of hours of spinning your wheels, eat some dinner, watch a little basketball, have a glass of wine, read a little and crash for the night.

I usually start programming in the afternoon and work after dinner. I’ve learned that that’s when I’m at my best: awake and relaxed, free of distractions, with a quiet mind.

But still, I don’t go on to 1 or 2 or 3 am anymore. I used to. These days I stop around 10 pm — 11 pm at the latest — no matter what.