Light green, medium green, and slightly darker green squares, twenty-one in total, colored the past few weeks on my GitHub contribution graph. It wasn't until I saw the squares that I realized how much I've been on GitHub lately. I remember that one Saturday when I was responding to issues when I should have been getting ready and that one Sunday morning I just wanted to tidy up a few things.
I use GitHub for everything: working, organizing conferences, and managing my household. But at the same time, I don't want to wear twenty-one green squares as a badge of honor. I'd rather have gray square weekends indicating that I contributed my time to being with friends or going outside instead of code.
I built Chillbot, a Slack bot, that reminds me on weekend mornings to take a break if I've had a 7-day streak (or greater) on GitHub.
Chillbot in action.
Chillbot has helped me gain more gray square weekends and has also helped me reframe how I schedule my work. I could do this work now, or I could knock it all out on Monday morning and start my week feeling productive. And now I start the week with a little more fuel thanks to a small reminder to get some downtime over the weekend.