work-life-balance at CoFa

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As you know life is very easy at COFA. We offer fully remote work, allowing you to work from anywhere in the world. That allowed me to travel and work from different countries, which I enjoy. You may be wondering about different time zones. Let me explain: at COFA, we don't have strict working hours. As long as you complete your tasks, you're free to work on your own schedule. We do have core working hours from 10am to 4pm, during which we typically schedule all our meetings. This flexibility makes it easy to achieve a great work-life balance, which was one of the key factors that drew me to COFA.

My name is Mo, and I joined COFA 6 month ago as a Backend Developer. Originally from Iran, I have been living in Berlin for over two years. My life is a bit challenging because I live alone and need to manage my time carefully. As a result, I have to take care of a lot of things myself, such as shopping, cooking, cleaning, and doing household stuff. While these tasks may seem simple, I am new to Germany and need to learn German, so I take classes twice a week for three hours and study for an hour every day to prepare for the exam. I have been learning German for more than a year now.

In addition to my language studies, I am also a fitness enthusiast and go to the gym almost six times a week. I am an active person and do 30 minutes of cardio and 2 hours of weight training, and also completing around 12-15k steps per day. Since I am into fitness, I need to be mindful of my diet, so I track my calories every day and eat out only once a month. I eat five meals a day, and I prepare them all myself. During my time at COFA, I have also obtained my German driver's license and visited more than five new cities in Europe, as I love traveling. I am also part of COFA's social committee and was promoted within the first six months.

I typically go to the office three to four times per week. Usually, it takes me 45-60 mins to reach the office and that time is the best time to read my book or listen to my favorite podcasts. Here is what my typical day looks like: I wake up at 7am if I want to go to the office, or 8am if I want to work from home. I have coffee with a fruit at 9am (yes, at COFA we have fresh fruits daily) and work until 11am, when we have our daily meeting. (Fitness tip: I drink a lot of water in the morning to boost my metabolism and reap some health benefits.) After the meeting, I have lunch at noon, go for a walk, and work again from 1pm to 5pm. I have a pre-workout meal, study German for an hour, and then head to the gym. After that, I have dinner, watch a movie, and relax before going to bed at 11pm.

Aside from my daily routine, I have some weekly habits that help me manage my time efficiently. I go shopping on Saturdays (unfortunately, in Germany, most places are closed on Sundays and that sucks). I buy food for the entire week, package the protein sources, wash the veggies, and freeze them. Saturdays are also for cleaning the house, doing some other shopping (clothes and household items), and hanging out with friends. Sundays are for preparing food for the next two days and relaxing.


Here are some additional work-related tips that I find helpful:

· I stay focused during work, which helps me achieve more in less time. Muting emails and notifications will help a lot achieving that. Also avoid multitasking which does not have any benefit.
· I do most difficult tasks in the Mornings when my brain is fresh, easy tasks, meetings and reviews is for afternoon.
· I take walking or coffee breaks between my 45-minute work sessions, which helps me rest before my brain gets fatigued, keeping it fresh.
· I plan my day either the night before or in the morning. It gives you better overview of what you want to do and helps your brain to not think about next tasks/steps. It’s better to not make your brain fatigued in the morning by non-important decisions, like what to wear today or what to eat. Since I like to take care of my style, I choose and Iron my outfit from the night before.
· I get a full 7-8 hours of sleep. More sleep means more productivity and more work.
· I try to taking on more responsibilities and challenging myself within the team, that can lead to professional growth, stronger relationships with coworkers, and a greater sense of accomplishment.

I can recommend these 2 books for those looking to further improve their productivity and self-discipline:
· THE SCIENCE OF SELF-CONTROL: 53 Tips to stick to your diet, be more productive and excel in life.
· The Science of Self-Discipline: The Willpower, Mental Toughness, and Self-Control to Resist Temptation and Achieve Your Goals

written by Mohammad Rahimi, Backend Developer