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Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

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What activities do you do to take your mind off of software?

Discussion (40)

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Neil Whitlow

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 :)

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Eric McCormick

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.

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Adrian Lanzafame

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 :)

ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

Sounds perfect 😁

realzedgoat profile image

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.

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Melissa Martinez

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.

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Alex Roan

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.

casen profile image

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.

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Kirill Myshkin

I play Kendama. It’s an excuse to stand up from your desk and get to move a little bit.

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

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Kyle Welch

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.

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Aymeric A

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!

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Scott Arciszewski

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.

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Carlton Hanna

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.

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Dina Gathe

I play guitar, and play ice hockey twice a week!

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Wilson Campusano Jorge

I play paintball, the guitar and go out a lot.

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Julius Espinosa

Reading and browsing imgur or twitter.

tribex profile image
Joshua Bemenderfer

Musical composition and 3D modelling with Blender.

lukewh profile image
Luke Whitehouse

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

qwertxzy profile image

Motorbiking really

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Anton Frattaroli

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

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Rayy Benhin

Listen to classical music or jazz, very relaxing.

saronyitbarek profile image

Ping pong and lots of tv :)

davidpdrsn profile image
David Pedersen

Play Destiny 🔫

jlhcoder profile image
James Hood

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

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Andreas Mueller

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

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Tommy Falgout

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

ghost profile image

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

srikanthav profile image
Srikanth A V


Origami (I am seeing a pattern)

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

mikengarrett profile image
Mike 🤘

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.

themoah profile image

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

3bdullelah profile image
عبدالإله | Abdulelah

😎 اكشّت بالبر
That's mean spend more than one day in the desert. 😎

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Jeff Dalton

Yoga, Hiking or reading a good piece of fiction.

coffeeheadjim profile image
Jim Nolan

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

gliechtenstein profile image

Build another piece of software!

p.s. no joke

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Daniel Escoz

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.

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Zhenting Zhou

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

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Anurag Mathur 

Walking, and listening to music.

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Javier Gonel

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.