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I get away from computers and devices entirely. Personally, I like to do more tactile things like camping and building fires, working on projects around the house, gardening, biking, snowboarding, etc.

 

Play darts. It is a game that has a really tight feedback loop, lots of repetition, and is intricate i.e. how you hold/release/throw/put force into the dart, how you aim at the board, how you place your feet, how you stand (back straight vs slouched), whether you lean forward or back, whether you move the rest of your body as you throw, what stage of breathing you are at when you throw the dart, etc. It leaves no room to think about software :)

 
 

I have one of the easiest things to shift my focus in my kids and family. In addition to that video games and hockey are other passions. I find losing myself in the virtual reality of a game can help really clear my mind on big blocking issues or at the close of a project to remain refreshed.

 

I play Kendama. Itโ€™s an excuse to stand up from your desk and get to move a little bit.

The best thing itโ€™s probably has infinite complexity, like programming. Learn the basics and then build more complex tricks on top of it.

 

Aside from spending time with my family or playing with my kid and dog, any of my other hobbies come into play. Reading, biking, snow shoeing, photography, board games, video games, and occasional wood working.

 

I actually don't for the most part. It's been months since I've been able to take my mind off software for any appreciable length of time. Occasionally I do stop for meals, sleep, restroom breaks, etc. When it does happen, I don't know what to do with my time so I end up creating a new project for myself.

 

I go for long walks or hikes and practice yoga. Yoga is great because it's hard to think about anything else while you're upside down in a headstand. It's also good for my terrible posture, one of these days I'll learn to sit properly while coding.

I also love snowboarding, although I can only make a few trips a year to the mountains. It's the ultimate distraction from life, and my seasonal treat for myself. I'm almost forced to stay off the internet, there's often terrible or no internet connection, and being distracted by anything else while flying down the slopes isn't an option because I'm usually just focused on not falling off a cliff and not crashing into a tree or another human. So, while I'm in the mountains, I can be totally in the moment and like enjoy some breath taking views.

 

In winter I go skiing as much as I can
In summer time I go for walks or cycling frequently
All year long I'm playing football & squash once a week
So basically, I love to have physical activities, outdoor if possible, to get away from my many screens!

 

Meditation, and running. In a way I consider these priorities one and two with life before anything else, not in a flag waving way, just in regards to physical and mental health as a platform for everything else.

Outside of that also being really careful to ration out technology use and attention use during the day - you can't expect to focus on anything taxing if you're diluting your attention between phone / twitter / news / netflix / games / etc / etc / etc.

 

Read books, play Magic The Gathering in real life with friends casually around a kitchen table, woodworking (including the never-ending house remodeling projects). Can't really say yardwork in summer distracts, because lawn-mowing time is catch up on development podcasts time :)

 

I play football (soccer) for the most part as a getaway from software, but mainly as an exercise to refresh my mind, especially if the work has stagnated slightly and motivation is down.

If the software I'm working on excites me then I rarely take myself away from it.

 

Endurance sports and training. Running, biking, rock/ice climbing, mountaineering, and any thing outside. If I didn't do this, I would constantly be doing software and eventually run into burnout. You need time away to let the good ideas sneek in from the subconscious.

 

Rock climbing is an amazing combination of physical and mental stimulation. It requires focus to conquer the wall, so you can tell when your mind starts wandering.

 

I listen to Metal and watch Age of Empires 2 expert game videos. :D

 

Lego

Origami (I am seeing a pattern)

Of course, there is Twitter, Tech sites, Youtube etc.

 

I spend time with my fiancee. Play footballs occasionally.

 

Funny to read this question while riding the bus to work on a weekend just because I want to try a new library

 

Go to the gym, read books, socialize. I try to get away from screens for some time each day.

 
 
 
 
 

I build trebuchets. It allows me to hone a different set of engineering, plus the benefit of watching pumpkins explode is pretty rewarding.

 

Spend time with my family, read books and play ice hockey.

 
 
 

Play Assassin's Creed or watch NHK with my partner. Go for a walk with and without dog. Go out with friends for dinner and drinks.

 

Mostly, I don't. It's a job but also a hobby. When I do, it's mostly with videogames. Play Factorio, for the love or whatever god you worship.

 

I know this is stereotypical, but playing videogames really helps me to keep a balance.

 

๐Ÿ˜Ž ุงูƒุดู‘ุช ุจุงู„ุจุฑ
That's mean spend more than one day in the desert. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

 
 

Escape the room games - that is, when the baby is asleep and my wife is busy.

 
 
 

i can't not think about it, if i'm not programing i feel sad that im not a good programer and i have so much to learn and i don't know anything, basiclly i feel sad all the time

 

At the moment it's blogging about software or gaming! I'd say exercise but generally that makes me think about work more as it gives me chance to gather my thoughts

 
 

Drawing (sometimes dot-to-dot), running/working out or death metal :)

 
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Ben Halpern profile image
A Canadian software developer who thinks heโ€™s funny.