Email Devs: Ever have unfocused days? How do you handle them?
This is an unusual topic to discuss but I'm curious. Has anyone else found a lack of focus when developing emails throughout the week? Especially, the end of the week. What's your average "peak performance time" and when do you reach a "burnout time"?
Our production team comprises of one manager handling the backend and two email front-end devs including myself. For me, all of it varies depending on the complexity of the builds and the number of deployments. And, sometimes, there are just those days when you're on hold waiting for additional content or awaiting approval. But overall, I usually find myself unable to focus after a couple of weeks of heavy builds. When this happens, you'll find me navigating the web for email related inspiration, articles, new techniques, marketing strategies, and of course cat/dog videos.
What about y'all?
Don't worry. Everyone has their off days. Sometimes I find myself completely unproductive for a whole day. This usually happens to me at the beginning of each project. I think that is my way to get into the groove of things and get my mind immersed in the project (weirdly enough, dog videos and articles do this for me). The following day, I will get back to work and everything falls back into place. My peak days are usually wednesdays to saturdays, starting around 4pm until I tire myself out usually at around 2 or 3am. As a freelancer I have the luxury to choose my working hours. Sometimes this can be counterproductive, but most times, it lets me work and work and work, then rest and rest and rest.
I also have peaks and troughs, though mine follow more of a 24-hour cycle rather than project lifecycles.
From 8am 2pm or so, I'm at my sharpest. This is my peak performance time.
Between 2pm and 5pm, I loose steam and write code like this, so I try to do meetings, answer email, and write Litmus forum responses in this time. I'm totally unfocused in the late afternoon.
Then sometimes I get a second wind at like 8pm and I ride that as long as it goes. But sometimes I just chill so I can be sharp at 8am the next day.
I'll go through peaks and troughs too, much like Ted. I'm in a position though where I may have design work as well as development work to do. Which works well for me. When I'm experiencing a bit of a design rut, I'll switch to some email dev and vice versa.
When I'm stuck with just dev work to do and I'm hitting that wall, I'll switch to something completely different, like scheduling work or getting up to date with emails, even checking out what's going on in the world of email marketing.
Tough call for me since my day consists of a lot of variety in tasks (not just email dev). I've found I can go about 6 hours straight on a single project, then need to let it sit for a bit, usually the rest of that day. Hard-core programming (like API integration) has to happen at night when nothing else will bother me; copywriting typically in the AM. So depending on the email project, I may be able to work on the project continuously but with different aspects at a time to avoid burnout.