October 20, 20212 min read

3 Reasons Software Engineers Should Treat Their Mind Like An Athlete Treat Their Body

Ship 30

The journey to success for athletes is deceiving.

The average person sees the outcome, the end of the journey where it's time to push your body to the limit and execute. Do or die.

But what's in the other 99% that isn't often see?

  • Consistency

  • Focused workout regiment

  • Recovery

  • Analysis

Software engineers push their brains to the limit every day. This doesn't get acknowledged the same because they sit in a chair all day.

It's time to realign the body and mind of software engineers to mirror athletes, and here's why.

Longevity

The average career length for a professional athlete is 10 years.

For software engineers it can be up to 40+ years.

Athletes strategize with their coach, optimizing work around staying in peak physical condition while pushing their body to grow even 0.01%.

They play the long game.

Think twice before staying up all night fixing a bug, or adding another ticket to your sprint. It won't be the last.

Burn Out

This is all too common across multiple industries, particularly so for software engineers.

The key to crushing burn out is recovery.

Here are some simple examples of recovery techniques you can start today

  • Optimize for good sleep

  • Find an interest that allows for unconstrained creativity

  • Prioritize your mental health

Lack of Purpose

Athletes train every day with a particular goal in mind.

Software engineers are the modern day exterminators killing bugs all day long. Riveting.

It falls on the individual to advocate for their goals and ensure they become a priority.

Communicate this with your manager & team. They have the ability to frame your simple bug fix as an accomplishment on your roadmap towards personal success.

Your biggest advocate is yourself

The best better time to start prioritizing your success and health was yesterday.

The next best time is today.