The 10 rules of a zen worker

  1. Focus

If you have decided to work on a task, do it as well as you can. Don’t start multiple things at the same time. Do only one thing at one time. You’ll not become quicker, just you work multithreaded. If you work multithreaded you’ll become exhausted, make more errors and lose time to jump from one task to another. This is not only about programming, this is a general tip.

  1. Keep your mind clean

Before you work, you need to clean up your memory. Throw away everything in your mind for the time being. If you have trouble with something, don’t let it influence you. It is mostly the case that trouble will go away. If the trouble is so heavy that you can’t let it go, don’t work. Try to clear things up. But when you start working, let the outer world shape away.

Shutdown what fills your mind with shit: close Twitter, Facebook, your E-Mails. You can say it is similar to item #1, focus.Don’t use that tools before work or at lunch.

  1. Beginners mind.

Remember the days were you were a beginner. Or memorize, if you still are one. You have never learned enough. Think of yourself as you were a beginner, every day.Always try to see technologies from a beginners mind.

  1. No Ego.

Programmers with ego don’t learn. Learn from everybody, from the experienced and from the noobs at the same time.Kodo Sawaki once said: you are not important.

  1. There is no career goal.

If you want to gain something and don’t care about your life “now”, you have already lost the game. Just act as well as you can, without looking at the goal you might reach after a long time.Why aren’t you working as hard as possible just because it is fun? Hard working can be fun.A day without work is a day without foodis a Zen saying.You can be happy right now, even when you are not a Partner or don’t drive a Porsche. Things change to easily.NEVER stay at a company which does take away the happiness in your live.

  1. Shut up.

Everyday you work you need totry not getting on someones else nerves.

  1. Mindfulness. Care. Awareness.

Because you are living only for yourself.You live alone and you’ll die alone. World goes on, even without you.Avoid working situations you don’t like.If you don’t have fun with that – stop doing it. Whatevery they do, they do it without suffering and they are (or should be) happy,because every second, even the second where they are cleaning toilets, is a second of their life.That being said:stop crying, if you need to copy/paste excel. Just do it.Nobody can guide you to the other world. This last step is taken by us alone.You cannot exchange anything in this world. Not even a fart. So it is up to you to take care, in every second. If you die, you die. But when you live you live. There is no time to waste.

“Care” is a huge word in zen buddhism.Propably you are better with the word “awareness”. You must be aware of what you do, in every second of your life. You must be mindful in your life.

  1. There is no Boss

Boss is not reason to give up your own lifeor to become sick of your work. Finally your Boss has no control about you. It can even be doubted that you have control about you – but don’t lets go down this path.Say “No”if you need to do something which makes you sick or is against your ethics.

  1. Do something else

A programmer is more than a programmer.Like you do at your worktime. Do it seriously.A hobby is not just a hobby, it’s expression of who you are.

  1. There is nothing special.

A flower is beauty. But it’s just a beauty flower – nothing more.Maybe you are good. There is nothing special around you. You are of the same kind as I am or all the others on this planet.

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