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most of my best ideas for the side projects and perfect tech stack combos come late at night, when i am procrastinating to even sleep.

in chinese it's called 報復性熬夜, which translates to something like "retaliatory staying up late", it's a phenomena happening more in china where people just get stuck scrolling on social media because of the feeling that they want to use or own all of the free time they have left, and then it gets squandered and you hate yourself in the morning.

bill gates used to say that he valued engineers who turn procrastination into an art.




This is me right now. Work starts in 4.7 hours. Retaliatory is an interesting word to apply to this behaviour, I hadn't thought of it like that but it's kind of true: I am struggling with the bounds of my weekend (or spare time in general) and trying to make the most of it while the clock ticks down. I'm not scrolling a feed exactly, but I logically know that I should be sleeping so it's also not good use of my time. Thanks for sharing this.


Idleness is important. You get your best thinking done in the shower because there is little else to do there. We got really good at filling that time with music, podcasts and feeds, but we should leave some of it to process our thoughts and let new ideas in.

I miss walking to work for those 20 minutes of reflection before and after my shift.

Now I ride motorcycles. That gives me hours to think.


Getting a motorcycle and riding around without a GPS in my face or earbuds has been amazing for getting away from screens and tech.

I highly recommend it.

An unexpected side effect is a new small group of friends who don't give a shit about tech, but share an interest in sampling food from faraway restaurants and getting there using as few highways as possible.


Long distance motorcycle travel stretches this to a few days, weeks or months. When you reach your hotel after hours of riding, you're too tired to reach for your laptop.

Unfortunately, it also makes sunny days unbearable when you're stuck at the office. Never park your bike within sight of your desk.


I live in Melbourne, Australia. Whilst I understand the reasons and generally approve of our COVID-19 response, a side-effect is that any activities outside of 5km from one's home have been banned for the last three months (and with about a two week break in the middle, effectively the last six months.) Riding a motorbike within that 5km radius is not considered exercise, which is otherwise permitted. Net result - no riding for me... :-(

I miss exactly what you're describing. It's amazing how much solo time on a bike clears my head!


Oh that stinks. I hope things get better and you are able to ride again soon!


Learned from my VC: "if you ever spend more than 20 minutes in the shower, it's time to change jobs." But these days I no longer shower in the mornings, but in the evenings, so...


There is a corollary for relationships, where you should not dread walking into your own house.

That being said, sometimes I have 20 minute showers because the thinking session is just that good. I have drawn more than a few diagrams on the foggy shower door.


This whole comment. It's nice to know that I am not the only one. There's even a name for it!



aka making yourself redundant through better tech and processes; and / or laziness as a Good Thing.


My ultimate goal as a software developer is to make myself redundant.

Not a great goal financially, but there's always another job out there. Until there isn't, and at that point we'll either be living in a utopia or the robots will have exterminated us.




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