I just finished debugging something really hairy, took me three days and one night of not sleeping (not just one bug, obv).

What I WANTED to do was stand on my desk and dance. What I did do is let myself surf on reddit for a few, and I may treat myself to a walk and a nice lunch.

What are some good rewards for getting a task completed?

+6  A: 

In my place of work, it's usually another monster task!

+42  A: 

I try and leave work on time that day... or even a wee bit early if it's a big task! :-)

haha this is a great idea!!!!
Sara Chipps
Yeap. I close my eyes and finally get some sleep. After an hour or so sleeping over my desk, I pick up my stuff and go home .... :(
+1  A: 

time to hit the xbox..


I buy myself icecream or a new cellphone

interesting range of purchases
Why not just buy the cell phone you really want, and keep it until the newer version of that model comes out? I've had my HTC Touch since it came out, and before that a Samsung SCH-6100 for like 3 years.
I had just bought a G1 on that day so I was feeling quite happy with myself.
+5  A: 

Explain what I just accomplish to a teammate and go walk outside for few minutes to smile alone and take time to appreaciate the moment.

+7  A: 

Spend a few minutes out in the fresh air. You get a rest, stretch your legs and to clear your mind before hitting the next task.

Of course, I work by a river so this is nicer than at some places, but I can recommend at least getting up from your desk for a few minutes!


I eat something. Then have a smoke.

+3  A: 

icecream and Wii

+14  A: 

That's when I come to StackOverflow.

Bill the Lizard
Well, weren't you already here for the debugging? haha
And for a fair percentage of the code. :)
Bill the Lizard
+9  A: 

I allow myself to work on some programming task which I find super fun but might not be something the company I work for would prioritize at the moment. Usually I have a lot of ideas for solutions that would be really interesting to implement but their only purpose might be to replace some existing (poor) solution, defeating the "don't fix it if it ain't broken" rule.

David Holm
+2  A: 

Of course, I spend some time on stackoverflow! ;-)

Then I go get ice cream, a cell phone, play some xbox when I leave early.

I see what you did there
+6  A: 

You only thought about dancing? Usually, I stand up in my cube and stretch to cover up my victory dance. Then I proceed to share the story with my adjacent cubes, as anything interesting makes for good conversation and we're always in need of a mental break. If I still feel energetic, I'll take a walk to the canteen and grab a soda and some high sugar snack food.

Of course, then I start the email mill looking for more to do. :) More work is good!

Abyss Knight
+21  A: 

Surf the web until I feel guilty about doing so!

+3  A: 

Go-Go- Bar

hmmm... You want to dance... these ideas may work out well together ;-)

James Curran
Female nudity is scientifically proven to make men stupider. I'd dig out the reference but I'm sure you can Goggle (sic.) it.
+3  A: 

Start planning the next 5 big tasks (of which, 3 will never be started, 1 will never be finished and for the 5th one I'll have another celebration).

Milan Babuškov
+2  A: 

I just had this yesterday! What a relief! Enjoy the feeling while it lasts!

+4  A: 

Bask in the adulation of your co-workers... oh wait that never happens. Nevermind.

+3  A: 

go hit some golf balls and drink some beer

+2  A: 

Head over to the cigar shop for a nice Paul Garmirian 15th Anniversary ...

(Which is what I'm about to do; thanks for letting me brag!)

Oh, and maybe some XBox or Wii goodness. (That I'm not about to do ... )

John Rudy
+3  A: 

Blow some trees

+1  A: 

I leave the guilt aside and go for a big juicy BigTasty hamburger at MacDonald's.

+5  A: 

I drink whiskey.

John Dibling
+1, assuming it's Irish...
Irish, Scottish, American... I'm an equal-opportunity Whiskey drinker!
John Dibling
+1  A: 

I usually reward myself by looking at airline fares and planning my next vacation (until I realize I still too short on funding to make it happen)

Sometimes I also look at photos in Flickr or Google earth near the places I want to visit (Venice, Paris, Rome, Egypt you name it).

+4  A: 

A craft beer when I get home.

Paul Nathan
+4  A: 

I stand up and yell...

+2  A: 

Head to the nearby microbrewery: order a steak plus IPA.

Go home early.

Get exercise.

+2  A: 

I go out and have a drink; but that's what I do all the time anyway.

Vulcan Eager
+6  A: 

Have a BIG dinner at Japanese restourant :)

yum sushi!!!

Joshi Spawnbrood
+4  A: 

I work in a small office, where a heart-felt "WooHoo!" seems to make people smile. (At least, they haven't complained yet.) Sometimes I'll kidnap a coworker, take a walk for iced coffee or a Thai lunch, and plan the next battle. I'll share the story with one or two people who seem to need an energy jolt, even if they only hear "babble babble stoopid babble awesome babble babble can sell it now." Seems to perk them up. :-)

If the breakthrough comes from someone on my team, I ask them to show me where the magic was and share it with the rest of the team. Often, chocolate is involved.

Hadn't considered dancing on the desk ... until now!

Adam Liss
Once I let a very deep and dramatic "Yeeeeeesssssss" (while rising up my arms obviously ;) got out from my inside out. the girl from the next desk just smiled in a way that encouraged me since then to let it flow it everytime it happens : ) +1
+4  A: 

Run through the office giving everyone a high five.

Brian G
+4  A: 

going sleep

+2  A: 
  • A decent break,
  • a walk,
  • time for my hobby (photography, music),
  • call somebody you wanted to call the other day,
  • a seldom meal, does not need to be expensive or big, but rather extraordinary, mostly healthy, since it's what got lost the days before.
+17  A: 


cd pub
more beer

I reward myself by refactoring.

I've inherited a monster of an ASP.NET project full of spaghetti code, and while the project manager sort of understands why that's bad, we don't have much time to do anything about it. So occasionally, when I think I've earned it, I "steal" company time to refactor the worst bits.

Helen Toomik

I take a break and go for a "spirited" ride on my motorcycle (2008 Hayabusa).

Dana Holt
+2  A: 

I have a wank in the bog.


I say to myself "I am a god".

Jack BeNimble
+2  A: 

Well, DO NOT turn on the computer for ONE day. And go get a massage.

But hey, I'm a girl (Ionut's girlfriend), so you might find my advice kinda "girly" :)

Ionuț G. Stan
hahahhaa yes, it sounded very suspect to start : P +1

Smoke break

+2  A: 

chocolate and ice cream

hasen j

I tackle the next, hopefully more difficult problem, since the last one was obviously to easy ...