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As a family guy I don’t spend much time at my computer on the weekends. Most Mondays, I have a really hard time ‘getting into the groove’ of working. I feel very ‘disconnected’ from work. Usually by Tuesday, I’m back into things and work productively through the rest of the week.

I do however, often spend Friday nights coding side-project things or wrapping up work for the week before shifting all my focus to the family for Saturday and Sunday (and Monday in the case of Memorial Day yesterday). It’s as though I’m slow on the transition from ‘computer person’ to ‘family person’ and back to ‘computer person’.

Does anyone else experience this? What do you do to ‘get back into the groove’? What do you do to ‘get out of the groove’?

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    I like to leave one test failing. I find my place again by running the test suite as soon as I sit down.

    This doesn’t work for the investigation part of a task, today I’m floundering trying to figure out exactly what things I need to call to implement this endpoint.

    If I’m really stuck, I’ll pair with someone else on their task, and hope they have time to help me with my task after. Social coding is the most fun I have when writing code!

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      I usually leave my editor (emacs) open… Shit, I don’t know what I’m doing, press f12 (I’ve bound that to build and run tests)…. Aha! I know what I’m doing!

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        Ha, I just did this by accident right before opening lobsters. I roughly located the bug I’ve been searching for for a couple of hours, but I have left fixing it for the morning.

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          I do it too. Works well for lunch breaks as well

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          Literally the only thing that works for me is lists. It took me way too long to figure it out, considering how common the advice is for those with heavy ADHD. But I have a git folder with a notes and a lists directory. In the lists directory is a markdown file per “large scope of work”. For me that’s usually 1 per service I work on.

          Each list is just a bunch of bullet points of in-order TODOs. They don’t have any context or details outside the literal chore (if I need those, I can cross reference the notes folder). That way when I come back in on Monday I generally know “I need to do the thing on Service B” and when I open up lists/service_b.md the first bulletpoint is an immediately actionable small-scope (like 10min) section of work. I do it, delete the bulletpoint, and by the end of that I have all the context I need loaded in my head. Because it includes no context/caveats/timing/anything else, maintenance just means updating the list in an open vim buffer as I work on the project.

          I guess my answer is: To get back into the groove, give yourself an entry point to the groove. The smaller the better.

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            This. I work for multiple companies, and I have a .txt file for each list.

            Another thing that can help a lot is to actually print the list and physically cross out finished items. The dopamine hit is much greater that way. I find myself printing emails and having them on my desk as I work on them as well.

            Edit: much grammer, wow

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            I just… don’t. The most I’ll do is leave a half-broken function when I stop working on it and then when I come back try and re-load context. But I don’t focus too hard on immediate productivity.

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              I find leaving a notes.md or something similar open with some simple todos for the beginning of the week helpful. That way I can sit down, convince myself this one or two hour thing won’t be so bad, and before I know it I’ve loaded what I need back into my brain and can resume what I had been working on previously.

              Addressing small bugs, code cleanup and code reviews are typically what I jump back in with. After attempting this enough times you start to set things aside toward the end of the week so you have them for Monday morning (obviously most of these things will be low enough priority they don’t mind the delay)

              Additionally I find Monday to be great for meetings. I have to take the time to review what I was working on to talk about it which gives me time to re-assess my approach.

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                There couldn’t possibly be a more apropos post for today. Was just stating at my phone wondering — how do I get back into the flow from last week. It certainly tells you something that I ended up here.

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                  Lists have already been mentioned. The other thing I use is contextual music.

                  If I’m doing well, the music can be more relaxed. Something like this works well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgWP0Su5Z6A Or: Maybe something with lyrics, but not something super novel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1oPoxKMMuA

                  If I’m having trouble concentrating, it can help to drown out unrelated thoughts with some heavier stuff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHRuTYtSbJQ (side note: Mick Gordon is a damn genius) If having lyrics also helps, it’s better if you can’t understand them (my personal Hardbass playlist, subject to change): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RtWx62z1OU&list=PLAzwT4DST7SbUkO9i8oZwAPUnhzpqGtKM&index=1

                  Now to get back to my heavy music and put my nose back to the grindstone.

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                    Probably an odd way, but I simply don’t fill in my timesheets on friday evening, I do it on Monday morning.

                    Monday morning I start inputting them in the application we are required to use, one line at a time. When I’m at Friday, I did the whole week and am pretty much where I left off and know where to continue. Do note we’re required to use quite a lot of different work codes and a description for every entry is required, this helps the memory. I can’t simply slap 8 hours on a Monday and consider it done…

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                      When I leave on friday, I put a post-it on my keyboard with the task I was working on, and what the next steps are. Usually, seing the post-it (not even reading it) is enough to remind me the context I was in when I wrote it.

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                        For me, usually having meetings in the morning helps with getting over the hump, but there are various other strategies, like writing down something with a pen, or getting a spot of exercise.

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                          Wow. I don’t know how you manage to pull that off! Personally meetings in the morning are super hard as I have to focus so long on a single topic right away. I really prefer having a few small tasks going before starting one to be sure to have my mind “warmed up” before meetings.

                          I mention this because I don’t like meetings and I honestly think that when I’m not “warmed up” like I mentioned, I’m usually on the passive side and feel that it’s a waste of time.

                          How are you able to make this work? Do you have some tricks?

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                            For me, I’m not usually longer meetings on a Monday, I’m more thinking of morning standup.

                            For longer, larger status-heavy meetings, unless I have an active role to play, I often have a small bit of work that I try to work on. That’s not always feasible, but it has worked well at my current job.

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                          Feeling disconnected from work for 48 hours is a feature for me, not a bug.

                          To answer your question: If I have projects in progress I make sure I write a note to myself about what I have been doing and where I am in the project. You can be as detailed as you want and even link to code lines or files.

                          As others have said, accept that almost no one hits the ground running again on Monday at 9am.

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                            git status; git log

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                              Like many others, I write a lot of notes about what I’m doing, basically all the time. They all live in my work org-mode file. This has the nice benefit of being able to catch up quickly on Mondays by reading back what I was up to.

                              A more physical habit I’ve picked up from Marie Kondo’s new book (which otherwise isn’t very good imho), is cleaning my desk on Monday mornings. I completely empty it, wipe down everything and put it back together. Only takes 2-3 minutes, but my desk is nice and tidy, and I feel in a good place to get some stuff done.

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                                I have a work.org where one part of the section hierarchy is a log, Year/Week/Day/Ticket (should have done sprint instead of week) and like others here I use it to keep track of what I was doing (I also note down TIL, meeting preparation and docs for some common tasks; but in other section trees obviously).

                                This kind of song is what I use to wake up and understand what I’m doing (i.e. where the lyrics are accidentally about programming): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPBd8eHQqIw

                                Once I have figured out what needs to be done and want to enter the feedback loop and just code then I switch to a techno radio (just some random channel that has a good beat): https://www.radio.net/s/fluxfmtechnoug

                                I’m going to try this thing with leaving one thing failing, seems like a good idea.

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                                  I experienced this when the company that I work for, forced us to take 10 days unpaid leave, and I split those days on Fridays and Mondays. So when I was returning to work I had a four days weekend.

                                  At first it was hard but then I did the following

                                  • I was catching up with the emails first
                                  • I was checking if there were any review comments on the issues I was working before
                                  • We are using Jira for issue tracking. So for each issue I was working for I had a separate browser window open for the specific issue and tabs related to this issue, so it was quick to start working again for this issue.
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                                    I have my own personal ‘dashboard’ - which is just a list of stuff I’m working on, at a high enough level that it fits on one ‘screen’. I highlight the items which are TODOs (e.g. ‘I need to ask Nancy if her team can support this’) in-place in the list of stuff.