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What is the first thing you do in the morning?

What is the first thing you do at work once you log into your computer? No really think about it, is it the same thing you were doing a year ago. I can almost track my career by the changes in what I do first thing in the morning.

When I was a junior developer, bright eyed and bushy tailed I checked my email first thing. It was a bit of a novelty to receive professional email and it made me feel a bit like an adult. Email seemed like the corporate information channel, so I thought as a responsible professional I should clear my email first thing and check it regularly during the day. The thing is though I didn't really get that much email as a junior.

As I started to become more senior I started to get more email. I also started to get more interruptions during the day. The morning started to be that really nice period where nobody talked to me. So I started to code first thing. Email could wait till I was being interrupted anyway. So my morning routine became code until I was interrupted, get off to a productive start, then once I start being interrupted anyway, start checking the email in the gaps.

Now days my prime responsibility isn't delivering code myself, it's ensuring the team delivers. So the first thing I do in the morning is check the time-logging & burn-downs. I just want to know what kind of day I'm going to have. Is everything going smoothly or do I need to dig in and find out what is going wrong. Then I code to keep my own sanity, email can wait.

I never really understood the fetish for metrics and dashboards that seems to afflict managers. But I'm starting to get it. At a glance I need to know what I need to worry about today, can I focus on what I need to deliver personally or is there a crisis brewing that I need to intercept. These quick informational hardly show the full picture, but they give enough of a hint about where I need to focus for the day.

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