How to Deal with Programming Procrastination

Have you ever thought to yourself “I haven’t coded in so long, I really need to” but then did something else instead? This is called programming procrastination (PP), and every developer will face it at least once in their career.

I get programming procrastination a lot when I’m trying to finish up my pet projects or even something to do with work. I don’t know why I don’t want to program sometimes but here are a few things I do to get me back into the programming mind:

  • Just Start Programming
    Forcing yourself to program is on of my favourite ways to defeat PP. It’s sometimes hard to just start programming but I generally lock myself in my room, and set a specific goal to reach. Generally the goal will be small to start out with; finish this method or class. Once I’ve started to program, the willingness flows back and I’ll stay for a few hours.Just starting to program can help the creative juices flow, but this is the hardest step in my opinion.
  • Discuss Tactics with Another Developer
    Talking with other developers is another way to get past programming procrastination. When you talk with other people it puts you into the mindset of a developer. This often is enough for me to get me past programming procrastination because it gets me thinking about programming.Talking tactics can help you figure out a problem that may be stopping you from programming or a complex algorithm. I generally talk to Alex when I’m stuck and can’t think of what to code.
  • Set a Specific Time to Start
    This one is a little like just starting to code. When you give yourself a specific time to start coding it forces you to get into the mindset of a developer. If you know you’re going to sit down at 8pm and code something your mind will start to think like a developer and hopefully you’ll get past programming procrastination.
  • Read Your Development Books/Blogs
    Reading your favourite book or blog can help you get past programming procrastination as well. Whenever I don’t feel like programming I go though my RSS reader and read some of my favourite development articles. It really helps put me in the programming mood. Dust off your favourite book or fire up your RSS reader and read whatever development stuff you want.

There are a number of ways to get past programming procrastination. The above four points are just a few that I use, but what I really want to know is how do you get through programming procrastination? Do you do any of the things I do or do you have your own ways? Feel free to drop us a line in the comment section below.

  • Jerry430

    Thx man, I’ve been having this exact same trouble with not doing anything even when I have the time, I’ll try these tips.

  • Javier Gonzalez

    My problem is that i’m always sleepy, so a big mug of coffee and close facebook also works well for me for a couple hours

  • Sepehr Lajevardi

    Procrastination is a serious mental problem, it costs jobs and lives. Your article is the least helful guide I’ve read about procrastination on the web.

    **To tell a procrastinator to “Just do it” is like telling a clinically depressed person to “cheer up”!**

  • silent1mezzo

    @SepehrLajevardi:disqus I appreciate the comment and definitely agree that severe procrastination is a serious mental problem. I wasn’t trying to make light of anything. The four points above have helped me with procrastinating as well as other developers I’ve talked to throughout my career.