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Take care of your physiological needs to make optimal architectural decisions 🤔

Krzysztof Platis
Javascript Enthusiast. Fascinated with internals of Vue, React and Angular. Focused on the business needs of Clients. | Core team of http://github.com/SAP/spartacus
Updated on ・2 min read

As a software architect, your most important skill is making optimal decisions. But your brain totally depends on your body. When you're sleepy 🛏️, hungry 🍴 or need to visit a toilet 🚽, your brain gets disturbed. Then it can hardly make any well-balanced judgements. Don't force yourself to finish your task first, unless you want to make some bad decision. When feeling strange or anxious, just pause, take care of yourself and get back to your work. You’ll finish your task better when calmed down.

The great book “Self-Reg” (by Stuart Shanker) explained to me the implication: neglecting physiological needs cause higher susceptibility to stress.

Self-regulation

Read the signals from your body

  • tapping your fingers nervously
  • shaking your leg
  • feeling a headache
  • ruminating past mistakes or thinking about things which can go wrong
  • getting easily frustrated by small problems

Identify your stressors

Ask yourself: “Why now?”

  • did you have enough sleep today? Wanna yawn?
  • are you hungry? Is it now your usual time for a meal?
  • are you thirsty?
  • do you need to visit a toilet?
  • do you need more movement?
  • are you tired of noise?
  • is anyone or anything else stressing you?

Reduce your stressors

When you know what your body needs, satisfy it. “Turn down the volume” of your stressor. 🔇
If you cannot switch it off completely, take a break and use your best tricks that calm you down.

  • eat 🥪
  • drink 🥤
  • take a walk 🚶‍♂️
  • listen to relaxing music 🎧
  • make your coffee ☕️
  • take a short power nap 🛏

“Our highest priority is to protect our ability to set priorities”

(Essentialism - Greg McKeown)

When you’re stressed out, your perception doesn’t adapt quickly to changing circumstances. You focus easily on irrelevant details and loose the big picture. You invest time in perfectionism for things that don’t deserve it.

To make optimal decisions you often need to rely on your intuition. It’s a general body’s feeling of comfort or discomfort when evaluating some idea. But any neglected physiological need can disrupt your gut feeling.

If you don’t reduce your stressor for too long, the tension escalates and you totally loose the essence. Your attention can hardly get away from what you’ve been working on for long time. That can be a vicious circle which may disrupt both your health and the health of the project’s architecture.

Summary

In every work day you face challenges which require from you setting priorities and making judgements. So you need your brain to stay efficient. But it totally depends on your body, so you should take care of it. Read it's signals, identify stressors and reduce them. It's for the sake of your health and the health of your project which depend on your optimal decisions. 😉

Discussion (1)

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Ania Gajecka

Self-care is such an important thing. Especially now, during constant lockdown!

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