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sircatsquid

How to get focus back at work

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I'm in a bit of a ruff point in my life and I haven't been able to get the focus I need on work. I get an hour done every now and then but never that total focus when the hours flyby. I'm soon done with a larger project that will be used in my next one. I'm guessing this also makes things go a bit slow. What do you guys do to get your focus on programming? Any hint on what I can do?

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For me, it's sleep. I have found that whenever I'm not able to focus, or "not in the mood" to write etc, I realize it's simply because I didn't get adequate amount of sleep the night prior. When trying to write when you barely slept, it can be difficult because you're not as focused and simple things like syntax for example can become mistakes. Critical thinking to solve a programming problem goes out the window for me with no sleep as well. Another thing for me is the environment; it can take me out of focus if it's too noisy/loud, uncomfortable, etc. I need a nice, quiet, comfortable environment. For instance, I currently bought an iMac because of how quiet it is(one of the many reasons). Before I had a powerful windows machine with a lot of case fans that made the machine very noisy resulting in my focus being hindered sometimes. Other times it's just not "feeling" the motivation because sometimes the "task" is not motivating for me enough. For example: when I made the page on my site that deals with resizing images, I wasn't too motivated at first because what came first to mind was a simple page that resizes a users' image. I wasn't "feeling" that for some reason, but then I thought to myself how can I make it more interesting(for me that means challenging)? Then from that an idea came where I would give the user the option to resize many pictures at once. I thought to myself "hmm not bad, would be interesting and a challenge to yourself" which resulted in me being motivated. So then I started to work on it, but then I thought, what if a user selects a wrong file type in that batch of images to be resized... should I stop the process immediately? I thought to myself, no... instead allow the images with the correct files types to be uploaded and resized and the incorrect ones to NOT be uploaded/resized but allowing the resize process for the correct file types to continue and after the process is over, display the resized images for the user and then also display the "errors" they made during the resize process as well.Another one that may take some out of focus is simply... "thinking" programming is what you really want to do but deep down, it is not. But some still try to do it because of well.. "thinking" its what they want to do(in life) and A LOT force themselves to do it(for various reasons, one is: $). This is not really good imo because it would be like swimming against the tide every time or trying to swim up river when the river is flowing down river resulting in little or not results really. I'm not saying this is you, I'm just stating. :)Well, hopefully you'll find your groove back soon. :)

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For me, it's sleep. I have found that whenever I'm not able to focus, or "not in the mood" to write etc, I realize it's simply because I didn't get adequate amount of sleep the night prior. When trying to write when you barely slept, it can be difficult because you're not as focused and simple things like syntax for example can become mistakes. Critical thinking to solve a programming problem goes out the window for me with no sleep as well. Another thing for me is the environment; it can take me out of focus if it's too noisy/loud, uncomfortable, etc. I need a nice, quiet, comfortable environment. For instance, I currently bought an iMac because of how quiet it is(one of the many reasons). Before I had a powerful windows machine with a lot of case fans that made the machine very noisy resulting in my focus being hindered sometimes. Other times it's just not "feeling" the motivation because sometimes the "task" is not motivating for me enough. For example: when I made the page on my site that deals with resizing images, I wasn't too motivated at first because what came first to mind was a simple page that resizes a users' image. I wasn't "feeling" that for some reason, but then I thought to myself how can I make it more interesting(for me that means challenging)? Then from that an idea came where I would give the user the option to resize many pictures at once. I thought to myself "hmm not bad, would be interesting and a challenge to yourself" which resulted in me being motivated. So then I started to work on it, but then I thought, what if a user selects a wrong file type in that batch of images to be resized... should I stop the process immediately? I thought to myself, no... instead allow the images with the correct files types to be uploaded and resized and the incorrect ones to NOT be uploaded/resized but allowing the resize process for the correct file types to continue and after the process is over, display the resized images for the user and then also display the "errors" they made during the resize process as well. Another one that may take some out of focus is simply... "thinking" programming is what you really want to do but deep down, it is not. But some still try to do it because of well.. "thinking" its what they want to do(in life) and A LOT force themselves to do it(for various reasons, one is: $). This is not really good imo because it would be like swimming against the tide every time or trying to swim up river when the river is flowing down river resulting in little or not results really. I'm not saying this is you, I'm just stating. :) Well, hopefully you'll find your groove back soon. :)
Sleeping, might be something worth trying. Though I do get all the hours I need, I get them at the wrong hours of the day. I don't do programming cause I want to make money. I didn't want to have it as a profession to begin with, but now I found my self doing it anyway and I even like it. But compared with having fun playing around I actually have a deadline and things that has to be done, so that is a bit of a stress factor. I've tried taking walks and they do work, I get new ideas during the walk but usually it's blank when I get back in. Should have some notepad with me maybe?

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Yes I recommend taking a notepad with you. Stepping away from your computer is good when needed because allows you to take focus away from the project(or problems/conflicts you're having) at hand and allows your mind/brain to relax. As you do this, this can allow ideas to flow to you more easily than if you were still sitting in front of the computer. I do the walks too sometimes and when walking, ideas come to me about whatever I am trying to do and I say to myself "why didn't I think about that before?!" :) Makes you wonder why those big tech companies like Facebook and/or Google have awesome recreation areas/rooms for their employees.. I doubt its ONLY for "having fun" but also for a way for them to step away from their desks and to allow them selves to relax and unwind from the stresses they may be experiencing at the current moment.

Edited by Don E

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I don't do programming cause I want to make money.
I guess I don't understand this as a reasoning...You said you enjoy programming, so why not pursue it as a job?If you love what you do, you don't work a day in your life. Also, Computer Science majors (programmers) make on average close to six figures... that's a lot. But I do agree, try to step away from the computer in stressful moments. Go for a walk, jog, or just enjoy the fresh air. Ideas will come faster that way then stressing over an LCD screen.

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I guess I don't understand this as a reasoning...You said you enjoy programming, so why not pursue it as a job?If you love what you do, you don't work a day in your life. Also, Computer Science majors (programmers) make on average close to six figures... that's a lot. But I do agree, try to step away from the computer in stressful moments. Go for a walk, jog, or just enjoy the fresh air. Ideas will come faster that way then stressing over an LCD screen.
You have more of a must when you work with it, witch kills some of the fun in programming.

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You have more of a must when you work with it, witch kills some of the fun in programming.
A must? I don't understand...Programming is a language.It is a puzzle that has several different solutions, but, several different "busts".Programming is not an easy road to go down. So if you want a job with it you have to understand that and accept it.But I still don't understand what you meant when you said you want to make money... You can make good money programming.

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A must? I don't understand...Programming is a language.It is a puzzle that has several different solutions, but, several different "busts".Programming is not an easy road to go down. So if you want a job with it you have to understand that and accept it.But I still don't understand what you meant when you said you want to make money... You can make good money programming.
Yes but compared to your free time programming sessions you don't have a deadline and there isn't much of a consequence if you take a 2 week break from the problem. About what I wrote about the money is that I haven't learned all this cause I want to make lots of money which many beginners has as a goal. I learned this cause I was curious. I actually wanted to work in the transporting business and still do think it's something for me. But now my source of income is from my programming skills. That you can make lots of money is probably true but I don't aim for it. My aim is that stimulates my interest I wouldn't bother with a job what makes me tons of money if it is something that waste my time.

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Focus on work that's so meaningful that you can't think of anything else. If you didn't (or can't) make the right decision, the find ways to make your decison right.

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Yes but compared to your free time programming sessions you don't have a deadline and there isn't much of a consequence if you take a 2 week break from the problem. About what I wrote about the money is that I haven't learned all this cause I want to make lots of money which many beginners has as a goal. I learned this cause I was curious. I actually wanted to work in the transporting business and still do think it's something for me. But now my source of income is from my programming skills. That you can make lots of money is probably true but I don't aim for it. My aim is that stimulates my interest I wouldn't bother with a job what makes me tons of money if it is something that waste my time.
You are being very contradictory right now... You said before you don't want to program because you want money.Now you are saying you want to program because you like it? I am really confused what your problem is... Just find what you like and do it.

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You are being very contradictory right now... You said before you don't want to program because you want money.Now you are saying you want to program because you like it? I am really confused what your problem is... Just find what you like and do it.
Haven't said I want money. I haven't said that I don't enjoy programming. I just don't have the focus on it right now. Now again I'm telling you working with it is not the same as just playing around.

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Sleeping, might be something worth trying. Though I do get all the hours I need, I get them at the wrong hours of the day. I don't do programming cause I want to make money. I didn't want to have it as a profession to begin with, but now I found my self doing it anyway and I even like it. But compared with having fun playing around I actually have a deadline and things that has to be done, so that is a bit of a stress factor. I've tried taking walks and they do work, I get new ideas during the walk but usually it's blank when I get back in. Should have some notepad with me maybe?
Yes but compared to your free time programming sessions you don't have a deadline and there isn't much of a consequence if you take a 2 week break from the problem. About what I wrote about the money is that I haven't learned all this cause I want to make lots of money which many beginners has as a goal. I learned this cause I was curious. I actually wanted to work in the transporting business and still do think it's something for me. But now my source of income is from my programming skills. That you can make lots of money is probably true but I don't aim for it. My aim is that stimulates my interest I wouldn't bother with a job what makes me tons of money if it is something that waste my time.
Haven't said I want money. I haven't said that I don't enjoy programming. I just don't have the focus on it right now. Now again I'm telling you working with it is not the same as just playing around.
First Quote is you saying you don't want to program because you want money. Second comment is saying you are doing programming just for the money, and would rather do the transportation business.Third Quote is you assuming you know more about how "fun" programming is. I work with it, it is my full time job, it is just as fun to work with it when you have a goal to work towards. Some times more fun because you know what you are trying to make.

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First Quote is you saying you don't want to program because you want money.Second comment is saying you are doing programming just for the money, and would rather do the transportation business.Third Quote is you assuming you know more about how "fun" programming is. I work with it, it is my full time job, it is just as fun to work with it when you have a goal to work towards. Some times more fun because you know what you are trying to make.
Here is where you read things a bit fast. "don't want to program because you want money." is not what it says. See the difference?"I don't do programming cause I want to make money." This is what it says."don't want to program because you want money." This is what you probably read So let me rewrite it and see if you understand the sentience in a different way.So what I'm saying is, money is not why I am doing programming. Second quote isn't stating anything about wanting any money at all but the opposite.Third quote is not stating that I know how funny it is but that it is not boring to do it. Edited by sircatsquid

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