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Yechiel Kalmenson
Yechiel Kalmenson

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Introducing #86DaysOfCode

Can Less Be More? A New Approach To The 100 Days Of Code Challenge

My Github Streak

Anyone hanging out in Coding Twitter is by now familiar with the #100DaysOfCode hashtag.

The hashtag is full of inspirational stories. For those who don’t know, #100DaysOfCode is a challenge that people challenge themselves to spend some time coding every single day for 100 days straight.

It’s a great way to develop a habit; do anything for 100 days straight, and you’ll find it hard to stop. Even I took a shot at the challenge:

Liquid error: internal

Recently, however, I noticed a few #100DaysOfCode posts that got me thinking.

Every once in a while I came across people who missed a day or two, and that usually caused some anxiety. Is the challenge finished? Did they fail? Do they need to start over? Is it okay to “cheat” and keep going?

Seeing such questions made me sad. The 100 Days Of Code challenge is about building good habits; beating yourself up over a missed day is not a good habit to get into.

That train of thought got me thinking further. How about expecting yourself to code for 100 days straight? Is that a habit worth encouraging? What about taking time for yourself? Allowing yourself to have an off-day? Taking time for family? Aren’t those worth anything?

A Better Way?

Back when I was taking the online web-development course at The Flatiron School, I had a crazy schedule. I still had a full-time job, a family, and my coding that were all competing for my attention.

One of the ways I managed to maintain my sanity was by reserving one day a week for myself/family during which I didn’t go near the computer. It was my day off, the day that allowed me to recharge so I can tackle the week of full work days followed by sleepless nights spent with code.

Introducing #86DaysOfCode

Thinking back to those days, I started wondering, is it possible to build time for yourself into the #100DaysOfCode challenge? What if instead of #100DaysOfCode we would try to do #86DaysOfCode letting everyone take off one day a week to take care of themselves? I’m sure that would help boost productivity in the other six days of the week so the 14 missing days would make up for themselves 100-fold.

What do you think?

This article has been cross-posted from my blog Rabbi On Rails.
You can read more about my coding journey there, or by following me on Twitter @yechielk

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