Consume, Produce, Burn

I've always been someone who thrives on systems and routines. Because of this, ever since I entered adulthood, I've been creating systems to help me get through life. Such systems include Kozukai (rewarding good habits) and Nomodoom (social media usage limitation).

Recently, I was inspired to create yet another system after reading "The Backyard Adventurer" by Beau Miles. In his book, Miles, a skilled carpenter and builder, describes his relationship with food and how it relates to his work. He views whatever he eats as fuel for the physical labor to build his next project. For example, when Miles sees a handful of bananas in front of him, he visualizes the new fence around his property that he is about to build. In this way, he has created a "Consume, Produce" cycle that works well for him.

This got me thinking about how to apply this concept to my work as a programmer. Unfortunately, producing code burns fewer calories than physical labor. (According to one study, the average person burns around 100 calories per hour while thinking.) As a result, I needed to come up with an additional step in the "Consume, Produce" cycle - "Burn".

The "Burn" requires me to incorporate exercise into my daily routine, usually running either during or after work. If I eat, I can produce code; if I exercise, the feature or bug is complete (obviously, this is theoretical - if you wrote the code, the work is technically done). In this way, I can view a banana as a story/task that will be completed, just like Beau Miles and his fence.

Of course, you need a bit of imagination and creativity when following systems like this. Regardless, they always motivate me to live a healthier and more fulfilling life.


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