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Breakfast: The Most Utilitarian Meal of the Day

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For about 5 years, I ate the same breakfast every weekday morning. A fried egg, veggie sausage patty, and cheddar cheese on an English muffin. It was delicious, it filled me up for the morning, and because I made it every morning, it would only take me about 5 minutes from the time I opened the fridge to the time I had my sandwich on the plate. On weekends I would get creative, but on weekday mornings I stuck to the routine.

The best thing was that I didn't have to think about it at all. Not when I made my grocery list for the week and not when I woke up in the morning. Even while I was making the sandwich, muscle memory took over. The ratio of deliciousness to effort invested was very high. This became especially valuable once I had small kids and was wrangling them in the mornings.

Last January, my doctor told me that my cholesterol had inched one point out of the normal range, and I should lower it now while it was still relatively easy to do. She told me to cut down on animal products and simple carbs. Y'know, like eggs and cheese and English muffins.

Easy peasy. I switched to oatmeal and veggie sausage in the mornings and six months later my cholesterol was down 15 points.

This article is not dietary advice. My point is not that you should be eating oatmeal or even eating the same thing for breakfast every morning. My point is that by creating a routine, it gave me a dial that was easy to turn when something needed to change.

Where are the points in your process that developers have to think too much? Where are people forced to decide what they want for breakfast when all they need are the same calories and ease of prep that yesterday's breakfast offered? There are almost certainly wheels that are being regularly reinvented, or at least retreaded. If you can hammer out those routines you'll make room for more important engineering conversations.

Ben Wilhelm

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