Procrastination Tip: Taking a Break

Like the name of this blog, developers often procrastinate when it comes to different aspects of their profession. I know a lot of developers (myself included) that’ll start side-projects and then abandon them a week or two after they have started. They aren’t bad developers, or even lazy ones, they are just developers that procrastinate to the point of project stagnation.

When you find procrastination starting to hit you and your projects there’s a number of things you can do. One of them is to find someone who will hold you accountable for your projects. Another is to simply take a break.

Taking a break helps you focus your thoughts

Programming takes a lot of brain power and anyone who tells you differently has never programmed. It’s not easy to think of simple solutions to complex problems. When you’ve been programming for a long time it’s often beneficial to take a break to focus your thoughts. Whether this means you go to a cottage, read a book or simple close your eyes and have a rest, when you think about other things than programming you’ll be amazed how refreshed you are when you come back to it.

Taking a break is often the best way to solve a problem you’re stuck on. There’s been countless times where I haven’t been able to figure out a problem but as soon as I close my eyes for bed the solution comes to me. Simply taking a break allows your mind to focus on the things that are important to you and this can, in the end, help you program better.

Taking a break helps you stay healthy

Developers often sit for long periods of time and according to a Canadian study this can have adverse effects on your health. Sitting for long periods of time not only hurts your body but it also hurts your mind. Taking a short break to go walking, running, bicycling or anything active can make you feel invigorated and help with programmer procrastination. Doing vigorous activities release endorphins which makes you happy and can help you beat procrastination.

Taking a break helps you sort out your priorities

When you’ve been programming for a long time your priorities can get muddled. Sometimes projects will look more important than others purely based on the fact that you’ve put more time into them. These projects may not be the most important nor the most fun but because you’ve but so much time into it you don’t want to give it up. Taking a break from these projects can let you re-evaluate your priorities, helping you drop the projects that may not be worth the time and re-focus on projects that are more interesting and valuable to you.

Final Thoughts

Everyone falls for programming procrastination at some point or another. Taking a simple break can help you beat it and make you carry on programming.