3 Steps to regaining Sanity for Developers
I love programming, there is no other profession in the world that I think I would enjoy more than this. But at the same time, it requires a lot of head scratching, and once you get stuck at a tiny thing, it can suck the life out of you! But thankfully, I found a solution for this.
Every developer knows the pain of missing the semicolon, and if you are not using a program that points the error out for you, it can lead to you banging your screen and then falling into a deep abyss of sorrow. It’s the simplest things that cause the biggest problems, and these problems lead to great frustrations.
Step 1: Distraction
The magic word is “Distraction”! We keep staring at the same screen for hours, looking at each character at every line constantly, when we get stuck, we simply keep seeing the same thing over and over. I’ve spent hours staring at the same code, with no success or solution. But if I distract myself, and come from a 10/15 minutes break, I find the issue in a matter of minutes! But there is a technique to this and the next step is the most crucial.
Step 2: Stay Safe
It’s really easy to fall into the trap of a “wrong distraction”. To not break your flow, you need to restrict the break to 10/15 minutes without any temptation to prolong it. For example, if I start watching a movie, I’m gone for the next 2 hours! I’m not gonna get up until the order in the world has been restored and the aliens are dead! 15 minutes max is what I consider “Safe”. You’ll laugh when you read about what I do.
Step 3: Don’t think about work
You should not think about work at all during this break, complete distraction is key. What works for me? Toys, yes, toys! Well, one specific toy, Remote Control Helicopters! I’ve collected both indoor and outdoor helicopters, and their short battery life restricts my breaks to my safe time. This is a complete distraction, I’m completely concentrated on either trying not to break the stuff in my room or making sure the outdoor ones don’t go and land in someone else’s house, not a single thought about work.
All this may sound silly, but once you find what works for you, in the long run, you will realize the importance of this. Every person has a unique interest, and you need to find something that you can enjoy in this limited time. When you return to work, you will have a fresh eye, and automatically think of new solutions.
Why is this crucial?
When everything is going downhill, and you simply keep thinking negatively, you will definitely get frustrated and eventually be wanted by the authorities for building the modern day Frankenstein!
I have seen a lot of developers, the ones who succeed and are able to adapt to this ever-changing field are the ones who have some technique of refreshing themselves. The ones who get frustrated and raise their hands every time they get stuck are unable to move forward. This is a simple trick that works for me, and I suggest everyone try this once, trust me, it works *wink*