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Thomas Fitzgerald
Thomas Fitzgerald

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Things to do EVERYDAY

As a relatively new developer taking advantage of a blessed opportunity (part of the current #VetsWhoCode cohort), I’ve been soaking up every bit of wisdom I can. Of course I’m learning the technical side of coding as well, but that’s not what this post is about. The mentors of #VetsWhoCode are all very experienced and vastly knowledgeable developers. Even the alum are rockstars. Any new developer in the program would be whack to dismiss the advice given daily.

Which brings me to the point of this post. The man who started it all, @jeromehardaway , has brought up one particular piece of advice several times already in the cohort. He simply calls it
"Things to do everyday", and then shoots off a list of 10 items. Sometimes he’ll paste it in the slack chat. The second time he brought it up, I made sure to get it typed up. I decided that I was going to use every bit of advice I could to get my career on the right path and moving forward.

The best thing about this advice is it applies to any developer, no matter what stage of their career. It is as follows:

  1. Make a schedule. - Easy enough. Before, I’d never get to anything because it was all in my head and I couldn’t decide what to get started on first. Now, I make tangible progress daily on what I need to do and accomplish. I simply follow my schedule.

  2. Make sure you schedule family time in it. - You are going to be busy. You are going to have your schedule to fit it all in. But what’s the point if you neglect your family and have no one to share it with. This is a mental thing as well. Must have balance.

  3. Focus on your core skill. - Focusing on being a JavaScript developer? Focusing on a different language? Focusing on being a marketing expert? Don’t chase after every new shiny thing, focus on your skill. Become that expert.

  4. Expand how you market AND sell your core skill. - What are you doing to brand yourself? What are you doing to stand out against the next developer? Always look for opportunities to put yourself out there and be seen.

  5. Build a community around your core skill. - Find others that share your skill and can learn from, as well as those who are learning your skill. Expand your circle and be seen as someone to look up to.

  6. Read / Listen / Learn at least 45 minutes a day. - This is a must to build into your schedule. Since implementing this the stack of personal development books on my nightstand has started to shrink. Result? I’m doubling down on my learning and growth.

  7. Execute on your goal at least 45 minutes a day. - This might appear to be redundant, but I can assure you it isn’t. Are you trying to start a business? Are you starting a non-profit? Have a personal project? This is where you make sure you are able to take measurable action on it daily.

  8. Workout at least every other day. - Even if you don’t like exercise, this is a must. I don’t have enough room to go into all the benefits of just getting out there and moving your body. Yes, it will suck at first. Yes, your overall health (mental and physical) will thank you later. You’ll also be surprised at how much more productive you become. I’ve only recently made sure to implement it and the results are real.

  9. Drink water. - You are made of it. You need it. It will help with your working out. You’ll feel a lot better drinking water throughout the day rather than soda or sports drinks. Again, feel better and increase productivity and overall well being.

  10. Stay positive, people who look up to you are watching. - Staying positive will open doors, it’s just a matter of time. You never know who you will inspire or what the results will be. Making sure I do this has turned what I previously viewed as roadblocks into insignificant parts of my day. In turn I’ve been able to get so much more done.

This may seem like a common sense list. But how many out there actually do or stick to it? What I can tell you is that a guy who is out there making real things happen in this community swears by it. You know where I want to be? I want to be out there making real things happen as well.

I’ve only recently applied this to my life, but it sure is making an impact. Beginner status or Legendary, everyone can apply this list. The key? Do it EVERYDAY.

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