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Mario Novak
Mario Novak

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Your Health: Self-Aware Software Artisan

We are constructing a progressive health framework that creates a solid foundation for your private and working life.

From planning your next day, through sleeping and waking-up patterns, morning routines, stress-handling routines, to relaxing periods.

We are here to create a synergy of your work and playtime to optimize for growth.

🏆 Your progress 🌏 🏄‍♂️

After you’re done reading: check the ⬇️ bottom of the page — you’ll find next parts of this series that cover diverse set of related topics!

📣 Coming soon!

I’m continually refactoring this series.

Subscribe to receive a single-page Manifesto: Scalable Software Development distilled to the ultimate truths; from the viewpoint of an Software Artisan.

Author’s experience

Data Sculptor, Architect of Systems and Products.

Founded startups in the fields of Education and Sports and led teams of up to ten people.

Worked, as a Systems Architect, Frontend, and Backend Developer, for a product company, a digital agency, and as a remote freelancer.

For more information, check my Personal Website.

🎉 We’ve created a Tracking App for You

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Habitus App

We’ve created Habitus to ease you into tracking your activities throughout the day!

Habitus is an easy way to:

  • track your habit activities (good or bad)
  • track your emotional states (Happy, Sad, …).
  • write your thoughts.

Anonymous and Open source (TypeScript, Koa.js, Vue.js, Vuetify).

Guest access, no registration!

Check out the app!

Physical and Psychological health

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Before sleeping

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For the current day:

  • write down what you are grateful for,
  • write down what you’re proud of doing,
  • write down what you will improve in the future and why you didn’t meet your expectations.

For the next day:

  • write down your goals,
  • starting and ending times for any activities.


Try to have as similar patterns of going to sleep and waking up as you can. This is the first step towards stability, and we can work from this towards other things.

Roughly, 8 hours is what seems to recuperate the body for most people.

Try to be in sync with nature, meaning — go to sleep so you can wake up with the Sun in the morning.

Go to sleep so you can naturally wake up 3 hours before any responsibilities towards others. Thus, you will not need an alarm to wake you up — and break up your sleeping cycle.

🎷 Background Song


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First 3 hours of the day set the tone for the rest of it. Thus, it is yours to take. Do whatever you need, so at the end of it, you are as satisfied, calm and focused as you can.


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After waking up, look at your bed, it’s messy — there were a lot of things going on in your brain while you’ve been sleeping.

Thus, this is a time to see what is brewing in the brain from the night.

No need to get out of the bed just yet.

Clean up the bed and sit in a lotus pose. We are going into the meditation/breathing exercise.

We are constantly thinking, from the time we get up, to the time we go to bed. Ah yes — in the sleep too! We are information crunching monkeys.

Balance is needed in life. And if you are thinking all the time — where is the non-thinking period? You need to carve it out for yourself. Just like we are working out our body... We need to practice our mind.

One of the important aspects of a functioning mind is: 1) it’s ability to focus on a specific set of ideas, and 2) let go of them. We are trained to do first (1) part from the time we are born. Second (2) part not so much.

“Point” of the meditation is “focusing yourself on nothing”. We want to be able to let go of the thoughts that come to us, so they don’t drag us into a mindset that we don’t need at the moment.

Don’t feel bad when you start thinking. Through time you will intrinsically figure out how wasteful is to go into the same rabbit hole, and you will instead re-focus on the breath.

Observe what is happening in your mind. With time, through weeks, months, it will simmer down, and you will have less of the chaos in your mind.

Scaling Daily Meditation

Do it after you wake up.

When you figure out you’ve been thinking — focus on your breathing.

  1. (1) minute; for the 1st week; eyes opened — stare at a point,
  2. (2) minutes; for the 2nd week; eyes opened— stare at a point,
  3. (5) minutes; for the 3rd week; eyes closed,
  4. (20) minutes.

Stretching and Dance (hips, shoulders, neck)

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After morning meditation, we are going into the dance.

Nothing special. Nothing fancy.

  • Start by standing straight,
  • ease into whatever movement you wish,
  • allow yourself to feel embarrassed,
  • do what comes naturally to you,
  • move around the space,
  • recognize you have hips, and those hips are extremely important to have mobile. Shake them!

Enjoy the blood flow.

Do this dance for 10 minutes.

Reviewing the plan for the day (from yesterday’s evening)

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Review what you’ve written yesterday evening.

Need to add or change anything? Do it now.

With this, you will get an overview of the day.

We are lowering anxiety levels related to not being focused or knowing the purpose of the day.

Avoid Morning Stimulants

I recommend not drinking anything that will give you more energy in those first three hours.

Don’t boost it with caffeine or any other stimulants — let your body wake itself up naturally.

If you need something to pick you up, go with the lightest stimulant possible (e.g. if you’re having coffee in mind, replace it with a cappuccino, …).

What we accomplished with our morning routine

Thus, in the first hour, you did a lot of good things for your mind and body; giving you more confidence for the rest of the day, as you’re satisfied with the time you’ve invested in yourself at the beginning of the day.

The rest of the time is here for you to enjoy.

Either by working on your project, working out, reading, relaxing…

Mid-day — working

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Check out Self-Aware Software Artisan: Deep work.

Sooner or later you will hit a hard stop during your workday.

Hard-stop, here, is defined as a place where you need to think, where you don’t have a pattern up your sleeve that you’ve employed previously to solve the problem at hand. The problem at hand is so different from the ones you’ve been tackling before it, that you need to step back and analyze it from the bottom-up.

What I propose, rather than being glued to the monitor, is:

  • gather all files or information that is involved in the problem,
  • try to group it, systematize it so that you get an overview of it;
  • and then step away from the monitor,
  • try to relax, meditate on it, do pushups, play guitar or anything that seems to relax you into the problem,
  • let your mind reconfigure the set of items to bring you closer to the solution.

A lot of anxiety comes from having a problem and not having the guts to step away from it.

Remember, down-time (relaxing period), while you hit a hard-stop, is just as valuable as the “hard-work” you do, if you keep the frame of the problem in your mind.

Stepping away from the problem at the office

Being at the office gives more friction between recognizing the problem, and moving away from it, because of the social friction and judgment that — you are not working “hard enough”.

We are not here to outline short-term actions to bring you to the solution. As, most of the time, they will backfire in the long-term.

We are, rather, here to form a long-term system. Following it, and adjusting with time, means optimizing your performance while being integrated, calm and focused on what you find valuable.

It takes guts to step away while being in a people-filled room.

Do it.


Go outside, juggle with the idea while walking.

Or don’t do anything.

Try whatever you feel necessary to get into a flow state of understanding.

As you do those steps — you will influence rest of the team to not stigmatize stepping-back from the problem, stretching, relaxing on the problem, and — it will bring more to the team in the short and long term.

Stepping away from the problem at home

Doing that at home is easier, as you don’t have social expectations.

You have the same responsibility working remotely and working at the office. The difference is, in the office, the social interactions and framework are set by the interplay of people; while at home — it’s about you, and what you make of it.


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We are at the constant inter-play of the good and bad side, inside of us.

Having the day done as laid out above, you need to do whatever you feel to have the balance in the day.

Watch the shows, relax.

Dance again, or do breathing exercises.

Write, play instruments of your interest.

Working-out while working

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There are times when you feel so much pressure that you can’t look at the screen anymore. You need a breather. You need a break, to step away from the monitor.

Taking 10 minutes away from the monitor and working on your body will simmer your thoughts down, integrate them and serve as a basis for the next few hours of more focused energy to systematize information better and — bring you closer to the solutions.

Don’t count on gyms, your friends, or colleagues to bring life to you. Or wait for a few hours or days to do a workout. Do it now!

Tech Meetings

We have few tips that serve as a basis for you, whether you want to be as mobile as possible or build yourself up to become a super athlete. And as with any good thing, they are on the smallest possible scale, serving as the building blocks for more advanced stuff, and are mostly ignored by everyone: dancing and crawling.

What?! Dancing and crawling?


Dancing — moving your hands and hips to kick-start your body

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This is not dancing per se.

Take out trying to look good or impress others.

Dancing is moving parts of your body — your hands and legs and having other parts move in relation to them.

My view on dancing is moving in your living room.

Start by moving your hands in any direction you feel. Our hands are most of our life hanging from our bodies, and thus the whole joint system in our shoulders is weak, and thus our shoulders are prone to injuries when starting harder workouts.

What the basis of everything shoulder-related should be — is moving your hands every day in the air, for 10 minutes.

Then, incorporate moving your legs. Thus, your another big joint area will start moving — your hips.

Now, doing both moves at the same time, whatever makes sense for you — we call dancing.

And, as you are at home, you don’t have to worry about others seeing you or you embarrassing yourself.

Do the dance every day, once or twice (in the morning, mid-day, or before sleeping).

Another reason for doing shoulder dance: having a headache? Your neck hurts? Weak circulation of blood or big pressure in your neck? Do the shoulder dance! Improve blow-flow to your brain by moving your hands, and thus massaging muscles in your upper body area, including your neck and back.

Crawling as the basic exercise

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What crawling does to you. Source: Reddit

Kids start like that.

Monkeys are doing it their whole life.

Look at their arms.

Having a shoulder injury? Start small, move fingers on the wall, after it — do light, medium, or hard levels of crawling on the floor.

Do it for 10 minutes per day.

Adjust the timing and level of difficulty to you.


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People who didn’t eat are bragging they knew fasting was great before everyone. And people who have eaten fields of food now have a framework for change.

We consume a lot of energy to digest the food we eat. Some people, amongst other reasons, can’t handle a meal and need to lie down.

As you eat — your mind shuts down, you are not as sharp as you were.

For most of our human history, we’ve had more accented fasting periods, or better said — periods without any food.

Nowadays, we are ramjamming anything we see into our bodies.

To kick it off: Eat in the window of 6 hours, fast for the remaining 18 hours. The good thing: you’ve got 8 hours covered by sleeping. Or maybe you don’t, I don’t know. Make it happen.

Research shows that fasting periods clean up your body.

You could get addicted to a “I’ve just eaten” feeling, and you could continue with that lifestyle for decades before recognizing that it was, primarily, a bad habit. Cut it down.

Eat clean, track the times, amounts, and types of food you’re eating.

Compare your eating habits with the output you have at work, your hobbies, relationships with others, etc.

Eating clean

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Most people like to eat “bad” or “fast” food. Don’t shy away from it. Rather, recognize its effects, gradually switch up ingredients with better ones.

And learn how to enjoy food, so you’re not killing yourself.


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A decent amount of people in the Software Industry experiment with all kinds of things. From different teas, sleeping patterns, breathing exercises, workouts, foods, fastings, to mushrooms, marijuana, etc.

Think with your own mind.

Nobody — your country, other people — except yourself have the right to tell you what you can do with your body, mind, or soul.

There is an ongoing War on Drugs, that through propaganda successfully buried any ground for researching most of the drugs (the non-taxable ones).

Nowadays, an increasing number of research is being done on all kinds of plants and chemical compounds.

People across the planet explore their consciousness, heal their chemical and biological problems.

Most, if not all of the things you could get throughout any drug, can be achieved through meditation, working out, living a certain lifestyle. It only takes longer.

Consult experts in any field.

Stay on the safe side.

Breathing and The Cold

Standing desk, Pilates ball

Stand while you work.

Run while you work.

Sit on a Pilates ball to strengthen your core while working.

Evolving the system

Whatever the status is, looking from the holistic point of view, we can take that our life can always get 50–100% better in few months of deciding on the system, evolving it, and sticking to it.

That could be switching out bad habits with the better ones.

You don’t have to run 100m under 5s; do a walk to begin, and adjust your aim with time.

Tracking your life to be able to improve it

Everything has an impact on you

Every picture on the Internet, every color combination, face you see, emotions you sense — everything has an impact on you. As you do onto others.

Use Habitus to track your emotions, habits, and thoughts

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Habitus App

We’ve been working on a State-of-the-Art tracker for you — Habitus App!

  • It allows you to track everything, day-in, day-out,
  • It is open-source — you can check how it works,
  • It is anonymous — you own your data, and nobody knows about your activities.

It’s written in TypeScript, Vue.js, Koa.js and uses MongoDB. Join the Development!

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Habitus App

Find this useful?

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❤️ Support your friends and colleagues at work — share this essay with them!
🚀 Use it as a, Company or Personal, Manifesto! Fork and Adapt on GitHub!

🏆 Your progress 🌏 🏄‍♂️

  1. Intro

  2. You — A Human Being

  3. Your Health — ✺ You are here.

  4. Question Everything — 👈 Next up!

  5. Deep work

  6. Joining a Software Company

  7. Starting a Software Company

  8. Team Artisanship

  9. Product Artisanship

  10. Code Artisanship

  11. Finishing up

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Top comments (1)

alexanderdanks profile image
Alexander Danks • Edited

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