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!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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 :)
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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!