While this may be folklore, I heard about a programmer that used a laptop years ago and would work with it unplugged. After the 2 – 3 hours that the battery would last, he’d stop working and plug the laptop in. He was not allowed to work again until the laptop was at 100%. Then he’d repeat working until the battery was drained.

That was his whole day. Drain the battery twice and be done work for the day.

What I love about this is the measured approach. A few hours of focused work, then a decent sized break to recover from focused work, followed by some more work. None of this, work till you drop crap. Or working lots of extra hours all the time.

Just putting in enough good work and calling the day done.

Unfortunately, laptop batteries have gotten so good that this would be harder today. The M1 Air I passed on to my wife would easily last 8 hours on battery power. My Framework easily lasts 5 hours on battery power, outside with the screen at max brightness so I can work on the deck in the nice weather.

Without an outside forcing function, like the laptop battery, it’s easy to fall into the idea that work should just continue because it’s “work time”. Using methods like Pomodoro can help as it anticipates breaks in your day. Working from home can help if you are disciplined enough to stop work since you don’t have a boss over your shoulder making sure you’ve got your butt in a seat.

For me kids and the dog help. I work for a bit early in the morning. Help get the kids ready for school and walk the dog. Work a bit more, play with the dog for a bit then work a bit more. That often leaves me done around lunch time and I call it a day.

What limiters are you going to put on your work so you don’t let productivity break your life?

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