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 procastination (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:

  1. Just Start Programming
  2. Forcing yourself to program is on of my favourite ways to defeat PP. Its 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.

  3. Discuss Tactics with Another Developer
  4. 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 procastination 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.

  5. Set a Specific Time to Start
  6. 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 procastination.

  7. Read Your Development Books/Blogs
  8. Reading your favourite book or blog can help you get past programming procastination 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.

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  1. 1 09.17.08
    2:34 pm

    Wow, I deal with this twice a day, especially if I am on time/ahead in the project. The back-against-the-wall approach works best for me.

  2. 2 09.19.08
    2:40 am

    I always want to discuss with the developers but I don’t have someone who is out here … :-(

  3. 3 10.21.08
    4:20 am

    I had a time when I was learning coding, and postponed it in order to put some coding-related material to work. It was not as much of a priority, and applying some related items that I wanted to produce was more relevant at the time. I can understand that developers might get into this predicament, and the information you have provided here can keep somebody coding.

  4. 4 01.15.09
    7:27 pm

    This is the same for writing :D
    When you just can’t find the words to start your novel, Just write away anyway. You can also start a schedule and communicate with other authors ;D

  5. 5 06.19.09
    4:52 am

    2 and 4 remind me constructive procrastination. They are things I can do easilly without the psychology of procrastination blocking me from. It’s like, ok I can’t get my ass to code the actual project I have to finish, but I can discuss or read about code as a leisure. Which is good though, because it’s better to procrastinate with things related to your main work than other less creative ways. 1 and 3 never worked for me.

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