View Full Version : How do you guys go about programming when you don't feel like programming

03-01-2003, 12:05 PM
Every single one of us probably has days where we are very focused, we can concentrate for hours on end, we can grapple with complex problems and find solutions to them. On the other hand there are also bad days where we are tired or unable to focus on something and cannot do as much as normal. My question to you guys is what do you do when you are on a 'low' or inefficient day? Do you still try doing some programming, or do you just say 'heck with this' and play games? I usually try to do at least some programming, but in the past two days (I'm still struggling with quitting coffee) I've been playing games and zero programming :( I am honestly having a difficult time thinking. I hope it will pass when I get used to having no coffee.

well, lemme hear whatcha gotta say

Travis Dane
03-01-2003, 12:13 PM
If don't feel like programming, I simply don't program. That's
the adavantage of having it as a hobby:D . I usually listen to
music, Browse the web, And play some games. Or i take some
distance from the PC and have a nice walk......in the garden:p .

03-01-2003, 12:19 PM
If I'm having a day that's that bad then I shut the comp down and either grab a pen and paper and start fleshing out ideas, or if it's THAT bad, take a nap.

If I'm not really having a bad day, but just not "getting into the zone", so to speak, then I code something completely different and simple (like if I'm developing on a SQL server client in VB, I'd take a break and throw together a quick C++ console calculator, or if I'm working on a TSR C++ app, then I throw together a simple VBA app in access). Just anything to keep the juices flowing but get completely out of the realm that's got me stuck. Do something simple in a completely different language. Usually after finishing a little side-project (15 min. to an hour, max) I'm back in the flow and can get back to what I was working on.

My boss is an exec. so I almost never see him. That being the case I have the freedom to take an early lunch and catch a nap if I'm having a bad morning. That way I can come back refreshed in the afternoon and get busy.

His motto is "On salary there's no such thing as being early or late or on time when you come and go to work. Just make sure the work is done when it needs to be." That gives me a lot of freedom. This past Tuesday I was on a roll so I emailed the code I was working on to my house. Got home about 5:30pm and worked on it until 4 am that next morning. Sent an email to the office that I'd be out Wednesday due to working all night Tuesday and slept all day Wednesday. It's times like that that make me forget about the crappy days at work! :D

03-01-2003, 12:24 PM
Well since i am studying CS in college and not working i have some freedom.. But when i get bored i just drop it and do something else, like browse, chat, play shuttle, walk etc.. I am usually glued to programs which i enjoy..(like the MSN Fake, Chess game etc).

dP munky
03-01-2003, 12:37 PM
yeah, i'd have to agree w/these guys. sometimes im in the zone, but sometimes im not, so when im not, i just put it away and dont think about it, get a hobby, one that doesnt involve the computer that will allow you to truly get off of this machine and do something

03-01-2003, 12:48 PM
Sent an email to the office that I'd be out Wednesday due to working all night Tuesday and slept all day Wednesday

That's pretty cool, I hope I have a job that will allow me to do things like that! Well it seems most of you guys just don't do programming when you don't feel like it. I'm afraid that if I start playing games I won't want to do any programming at all.

03-01-2003, 01:27 PM
It is nice but at the same time I had to go in to the office last night at 930pm until 11pm because one of the newest updates I wrote had a few bugs. The bugs were easy to fix but hard to find, that's why it took 1 1/2 hours. And it wasn't something that could wait until after the weekend because it output reports to our charterers (the oil companies that hire our boats), some of which were due to the charterers' reps at midnight last night.

03-01-2003, 03:16 PM
Your motivation to program comes from why you program in the first place. Only then can you know how to motivate yourself, and if in fact you should even motivate yourself to do so.

Travis Dane
03-01-2003, 03:26 PM
Yep, But when you're just tired, Aggetated, Mad, Sad or
whatever, You might just not feel like programming, Even though
you love it normally huh?

dP munky
03-01-2003, 05:54 PM
yeah, sometimes youre just not in the mood to program and have to find something else to get your mind away from logical thinking, ......cuz it hurts

03-01-2003, 08:16 PM
When I get bored, I typically start surfing the net, like I am right now. I've been programming all day, but I'm really burnt out.

Then again, I usually try to stay as far away from any computers with internet connection as I possibly can when I code. I usually take my laptop and try go somewhere quiet where I can code in peace.

03-01-2003, 09:58 PM
The first thing I do when I start my computer is start up MSVC++ 6. I open up my current project and if I am lucky start to code. If not, I close out. If I am not "in the zone" I just play Morrowind. If it gets really bad I think about fun things of programming, instead of the problems I'm currently having. I usually talk myself into programming that way. If that doesn't work, music can wake up my mind as well. If that doesn't work I look in the fridge and remember that my parents are like anti-caffeine, so we have no pick-me-ups.

I agree, starting work on another project can sometimes wake up your mind. If I am doing something boring (like I am working on a scripted shell-like thing for DOS console) I switch over to something else (like a new tile engine, particle engine, etc.).

03-01-2003, 11:18 PM
If I'm not in the mood to work, I just don't. I'm productive enough that I can make up a missed day later.

If I'm really stuck on something, I go outside and talk with the tree. It sounds stupid, but an old guy at work passed along the idea. Just go outside, away from the code/computer, and ask a question to the tree. Getting it out, esp out loud, really helps me think about it.

If I'm just at home coding for fun or for school and I'm not in the mood (a problem or just my personal feeling), I just shutdown the computer and do something else.

03-01-2003, 11:35 PM
Very good question. This is my job to write programs. Though I have few options open on time, to leave it for that moment is the best solution I can think of. Else you will make it worse.

03-02-2003, 12:11 AM
I'm still in school so I don't program for work yet. Just for class, but I don't have any homework in that class, so... I program at home for the sake of programming.

But if I don't feel like programming, I'll just go on forums and surf the net, talk to people on AIM. Oh, and do some homework;):)

03-02-2003, 12:16 AM
Simple, I _don't_ program.
When I don't want to, I don't want to. I feel I get more than enough done when i'm motivated. So when it comes time to do something else, something else gets done.

03-02-2003, 12:26 AM

When i was in college?i always stuck with the same thing like yours.My brain can't think anymore.it's somehow that a lot of thing stuck in my brain.Its like the blood circulation not flowing smoothly.I do something, like bang the keyboard or just say something loud with my fren to vent out the anger of me.
I think this is the of the kind of express the anger out of u when u can't program at all? But,for me right now.The best way is just take one days break.Go the beachside..... relax....hear the sound of the wave......Close urs eyes and let urs mind be free..
Take a deep breath....

I think this will work for everyone of us. And always remember that's in our life...... they will be a bad or good days.
when u r having bad days? Just tell urself. My good times will be coming soon. :)))

p/s:At the times,i'm still having difficulties in programming a lot.
but i'm sure one days i will be very good in programming as long i don't give up that easily. ;) Bye

03-03-2003, 03:35 AM
Generally when days like that come around it's time to get away from the computer completely, do something refreshing like taking a walk, having a drink at the pub with friends, or just reading a good book. Advanced books are great for getting the juices flowing, and on the other hand, good company (like girls) are an excellent way to get your mind unstuck. :) But beware of burnout - if you let it go too far you'll completely lose interest.

03-03-2003, 04:11 AM
If it just isn't working, it just isn't. So I do something else. If I try to force some code out, invariably I end up re writing it later.

Wander round the building, chat to some of the others, get some tea, browse the net, take a walk around the shops. If it still isn't there, go home and cuddle the wife.

03-03-2003, 10:02 PM
>> Sent an email to the office that I'd be out Wednesday due to working all night Tuesday and slept all day Wednesday

Not much good if you are part of a development team.

Just have to tough it out or try to leave the harder / more important tasks till tomorrow.

03-04-2003, 05:36 AM
i write storys for the games i program :)