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This post will list some things that make me code for longer periods of time and the goal is to help shed some light on how you can take some of these tips to improve your focus on your tasks.
Having said that, this isn't an article where I'm saying "Please do this to code for 15 hours a day like I am". You don't need to code 15 hours a day. You just need to avoid feeling unmotivated, hopeless, or overwhelmed. We're all adults here and I trust you to make the best decision :)
When you're not working, don't be like me where I'm still coding until it's bed time. I have my reasons but I am glad I'm able to code and never get bored, which happened to be something I needed at the right time. Spend time with your family, friends, and eat well!
Photo by Avi Richards on Unsplash
I like to use the 10/10/10 rule to keep me in check and motivated to code for ridiculously longer periods of time. I always like to have a project that i'm actively developing on when I'm not working which I believe will end up providing a lot of impact on my future.
But how can you tell if your project will benefit your future?
While definitions of the 10/10/10 rule vary here and there, here's the 10/10/10 rule I follow at all times:
Will this project be worth all the trouble 10 days from now? How about 10 months from today? 10 years? If it satisfies all three of these criterias, this should be enough to keep you on your feet to code like your life depends on it. And when it's time for bed, you'll feel like you're going to code harder tomorrow because you underestimated today.
Before I begin working on something, I often like to brainstorm the code that i'm going to write so that my mind is already prepared for writing so that I can confidently give a little more attention to the podcast playing in the background.
Podcasts go by quick, and normally by the time the podcast ends it makes me feel productive because now I've got all this new valuable information in my head. This makes me feel great about my progress. It excites me. You know that awesome feeling when you're finally getting progress from the gym, and now you just don't want to stop? Keep the momentum going.
Some other notable ones I listened to were between Kent C. Dodds and Dan Abramov and Kent C. Dodds and Swyx. Podcasts like these expose some valuable information that you wouldn't find anywhere else.
3. Listen to Good Music
Photo by Steinar Engeland on Unsplash
This might sound silly but when I listen to music that make me feel "badass", I apply better code practices which makes coding a great experience.
Many positive effects can happen by listening to music while you code. For example, a research from the journal of Psychology of Music in 2005 had demonstrated that software developers had experienced increased positive moods, quality and efficiency when listening to music. It also mentions that music can alter your moods.
I've never had a great coding experience listening to sad music. Just putting this out there.
4. Always Having a Cup of Coffee Nearby
Photo by BRUNO CERVERA on Unsplash
Now when I drink coffee while I code, I find myself coding for longer periods of time. It helps make me type faster and it noticeably helps to avoid random thoughts of my personal life in between coding.
It helps keep my focus and mindset in check. There is some backed up science behind this effect in coffee consumption.
For example, coffee can help temporarily relieve annoying headaches because it reduces inflammation in the body. But sometimes I get headaches from drinking coffee. In this case it might occur to me that dehydration is the cause (water ALWAYS helps to remove the headache when this happens by the way). Coffee stimulates the release of dopamine, improving mood and helps stabilize your emotions so I feel better throughout the day. This also contributes to the effects of keeping random personal thoughts away from coding. It's a natural adderall.
5. Drinking Water Every 30 Minutes (Coffee still applies)
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At my job, people know that I drink a lot of water because i'm always carrying and refilling these bottles. I drink a minimum of three of those per day.
Water helps me maintain a good state of mental health and wellbeing which is a vital combination with frequent sips of coffee! This is probably the most effective habit in the entire article that helps you code longer. I'd call it a secret of mine, but that'd be silly. We should all drink plenty of water and at least a cup of coffee every day :)
6. Sitting Next to a Window With Sunlight
Photo by Ethan Sykes on Unsplash
Try not to be coding in dark areas. When walls and desks are dark, or when there aren't any plants or pictures on the walls, this has detrimental effects on your health and productivity which can lead to depression and anxiety.
And that concludes the end of this post. I hope you found something valuable and look out for more in the future!
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Top comments (12)
15 hours per day sounds like a bunch! But I totally get what you mean when you feel like a day ends TOO soon (even when you've been coding the entire day). Do you think that your pace will change, or do you think you'll keep doing that much for a long time into the future?
Thanks for the post - lots of good advice there :)
No problem! I will definitely not be spending 15 hours a day in the future like I currently am. It can get a little boring if you work reactively and not proactively--but thankfully some things can keep me going (as explained on this page) I haven't been able to do the things like "normal" people do, in years. Watching a movie for example; I haven't really watched a movie in over three years. Watching tv shows and movies were one of my funnest activities. It sounds bizarre. But since I do have plans to shift this lifestyle into a more social approach, it's not that much of a bother. Just going with the flow as long as I'm following my plans then everything will be okay.
Sounds like you have a plan :) Hope everything goes well for you!
Have you calculated how much water you drink a day, while at work? In litres or whatever imperial equivalent
Hi Muhammad. Yes I have. One bottle of these is nearly equivalent to three 16.9oz of water bottles each. On average I drink a little more than 150oz of water a day
I hope you don't mind me asking about the semantics of your water habit.
I drink it throughout the day until I go to bed. So my last gulp of water is usually 45 minutes before I sleep.
Each time I take a gulp or two of water. Every other thirty minutes I would naturally just take a couple of gulps more.
I always take a gulp or more. When my water becomes warm I usually try to finish it quickly so I can refill it with iced cold water.
About every hour on average.
So I calculated that I want to drink about 4.5 litres while at work.
I work from 10am to 6pm.
I have a mug that is 500ml.
I calculated 9 refills!
I then calculated the time it will take to do 9 refills.
Check out this schedule
Approximately one bottle an hour or half a bottle every 30 minutes is very doable! How has it been going so far?
Another benefit of drinking lots of water - it gets you out of the chair more (for bathroom breaks!)
Very true, Sharkie :) it's always a phenomenal choice when exercise is involved
Just be careful, coffee can also increase anxiety and/or make you more "locked" on sudden ideas/emotions(HSP/high sensitive people are more vulnerable to this effect). The effect is different for each person and weather/health conditions combination.