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How I deal with my 9-5 when I still learning Programming?

corelhas profile image Carlos Orelhas ・2 min read

Many times I see people here asking how can learn any programming language when they have their 9-5 work. How to get space in our day to learn what we want.
And looking at these topics I decided to share with you my daily when I work with the 9-5 job (in fact this isn't a 9-5 job and you will understand soon).

For my first step, I looked at my daily routine and see what times I have with anything (no job, no exercise, nothing) and I figured out during my day, we have a lot of time even when we just say to us we don't have enough time.

I go to a job every day (Monday to Friday) at 9 AM and at 1 PM it's my lunch hour. I have 1:30 hour for my lunch and come back to work at 2:30 PM. I work at 6:30 PM (this is what I mean when I say I don't work in a 9-5 job and know you can understand why). After the work, I do a 1hour or 1hour30 of exercise and after this, I just take a shower, eat and watch NetFlix or something else on the TV.
This is what I do before understand my day and what 'dead' times I have.

After this, I just sit and try to figure out how I can change my daily routine to optimize better my time.

So I just understand if every morning I wake up at 7 AM and do some tutorial, follow some courses, or just doing FCC curriculum I have enough time until 8 AM, time to take a shower, eat and pack everything to another workday. Here I have 1 hour every day to learn.
In my lunch hour, every day I finish my meal at 1:30 PM so until 2:15 PM I read a book (not necessarily a programming book, probably just a book you like).

When I finish my work at 6:30 PM and I do my daily workout and I finish at 8 PM after taking a shower and eat I just stop watching NetFlix and get my hands 'dirty' with more learning. Before sleep, I read 15/20minutes.

So after these changes every day I have more time for me, to learn, to read and to rest.

Pick your calculator and do the math with me:

-> 1 hour every morning to learn;
-> 45 minutes on my lunch hour to read;
-> From 8 PM to 11 PM ( 3 hours) and here I spend 1 hour with new Languages (English, Dutch, French or something else);
-> 11 PM to 11:15 PM read (15 minute);

Well... Every day I have 4 hours to learning new stuff here I include programming languages and languages in general, I have 1 hour of reading and the most important, at least 7 hours of sleep which is important for me.

I hope can help you to figure out how you can optimize your day whit my example.

If you want to connect, I drop here my twitter (https://twitter.com/Carlos_Orelhas).

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Carlos Orelhas


Self-Taught Programmer. 'Each dream you leave behind is a part of your future that will no longer exist.' Steve Jobs


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I taught myself to code by writing a personal project (it was a poker app) while I was a project manager. I bought a small laptop and carried it everywhere, writing my app for 40 minutes on the bus to and from work, and for 30 minutes on my lunch break. Within a year I'd learnt python, java and OOP. I decided to go to Uni to study software engineering, but actually I think I'd have been able to figure the rest out as a (very) junior dev. I'm now a full time back end web dev, so happy days. Anyone can do it if they get the bug!!


Nice story from you! Just prove if we want, if we have the desire to learn and to get better, we can! And you prove this with your comment.
Thanks for sharing with us! Certainly, more people see and get the good message you transmit to us.


We are in the same boat, what I did is buying membership on Frontend masters, when I have free time I watch a video of the I am watching at the time.

Free time could be in morning, in bus, or after gym, the idea is that watching videos is easier but of course you will need to find time to practice.


That's a good way to learn a little bit in the 'dead time' we have, and even you don't practice, but when you listen one time, two times...After a while, you can concatenate your knowledge. So I think you are doing it right too. :)

What you think about 'Frontend Masters'? Worth the money?


Definitely worth it.

So far I took few courses but two courses I really found amazing, design for developers for Sarah Fraser, and JavaScript starting by Kyle Simpson.

All that while I still work with beginners courses.

Looks amazing !!! Probably I will try too. :)


In a similar vein, I enjoy reading and writing as well as programming, I also work part time and go to school full time (correspondence as well, so I'm entirely on my own).

I found the times I'm most productive, and set that time aside each day to read or program, and since programming is the hobby, I try to save that for nights and weekends.

Also, there's something magical about getting up early enough to have a few hours to read/program/whatever before getting ready for work.

Since I'm part time, and in IT, I have flexible hours (read: I make my own). And found that working from 11am-3pm didn't work because it cut into my productive time (I don't need to be productive at work..) with an hour of driving (both ways) and by the time I got home I was dead (getting up at 5am is draining don't get me wrong). Not only that, but I'd lose track of time, or constantly have tasks getting added to my to-do (immediately) at work, so I never left on time.

Changed to 1pm-5pm. Now by 1pm I'm pretty much not that productive, and I'm forced to leave at 5, because otherwise I won't be home in time for dinner (priorities).

Then in the evening, I can spend time on hobbies or watching TV or a movie.

Ultimately, it's about knowing yourself and when you're most productive and what you want to use that time for. My job doesn't require my productivity, my own life does. (Also, program at work, duh. (Don't)(unless you're a programmer))


I'm glad to know you can manage well your time and can do both things, it's really awesome and proves you can organize your day. The most important thing you say is just about how you figure out what time works better for you when you have your concentration at a high level.
Glad to listen to your daily routine.


Great post! You must be fortunate enough to have a short commute - my day ends up being longer. I leave at 5am to reach the gym (it's next to my work) at 6:15am. I work out & shower until about 7:30 or 8 when I start work. I work until 4pm (short lunch) and head home, which takes about 30mins by train. So I get home about 4:30, eat dinner, and relax a little (usually video games) until I head to bed at 7:30pm. My learning time ends up being during my commutes (reading), since I use the bus and train, and I am mentally tired when I get home.


In fact from home to work and work to home I only spend 30 minutes every day... So I guess I'm lucky! :)
Anyway, I just understand your position... This isn't easy to wake up every day at 5 AM and at the end of the day, you don't have your mind tired, because I know it happens.


Thank you for this post, gives a little perspective on how other people try squeeze in learning and progressing more in their respective fields. I work as a full stack developer and some times I come home I cannot look at another IDE or even think about coding but I feel like that laziness would dissipate if I had more of a routine where I knew where, when, what time and how long it would take each day.

I will look at my habits and routine to see if I can make it permanent and something I do automatically instead of thinking of "god I have to do more programming?".

Good luck!


What about when you come home you just look to IDE but in a fun way? I mean ... If you come home and try to develop a game or a laugh app probably you can look 1 hour or 2 hours at the end of the day. Have you thought about? Let me know via twitter or something else, I'd like to stay in touch with you! :)


Amazing Carlos, you deserve that pie coz its a daunting task.Started programming 2 months ago and keeping it consistent has not been easy but am settling in now.
Thanks for the article.


Just keep going, motivate yourself and soon you will see the results!! :)


Great story! I think you must have a very good self control.

Just a tip, I use a to do list app to help me with every of this hassle :)


Well done! (But I will never convert my Netflix time into more studying :))


I have my NetFlix time too, don't think my life is all about work and study :))
But at this moment, I just change the most NetFlix time for a little more with Programming :)