Coding can be a draining activity, and there will come a point when your brain will just give up. You’ll feel sleepy, you’ll find it hard to concentrate, and your mind will stop producing solutions and codes. This is especially common for people who are still new to coding.
We all hit those rough patches where we can’t seem to string two logical thoughts together or find that elusive bug in our code again, but don’t worry! There are ways you can extend your coding sessions and keep the ideas flowing.
Have a short break before starting up again
This is important for two reasons. One, it will give your brain a break and let it reset. Two, it will let you come back to the problem fresh and with new eyes, with the experience you’ve had thus far. When you are working on a coding problem, take a break if you get stuck.
You will usually be able to come back to the problem with a fresh and different mind when you have taken a break. If you can’t break away and you find yourself hitting a wall in your coding session, this is a good indication that you need a break. When you are coding, you are engaging the logical and creative parts of your brain.
After a certain amount of time, most brains will become fatigued. You can tell you’re fatigued if you’re hitting a wall and it’s taking longer and longer to get through a problem, or if you’re making more mistakes.
Take frequent breaks
As we touched on above, breaks help your brain reset and retain focus longer. In fact, when you take a break, your brain releases dopamine, a chemical that helps you feel more focused and less stressed. A study by the University of California at Irvine found that frequent breaks lead to better results in the end!
So, how often should you take a break during your coding session? It really depends on the person. Some can code for hours and feel great, while others need frequent breaks. That’s the only way to find out what works for you. There are multiple ways you can take a break from coding.
You can do something completely different, like reading a book or watching TV. You can also do something that’s related, but not coding related. Anything to give your brain a break and relax a bit.
You may not think that you are at risk of dehydration while coding, but it does happen. An average person can lose up to two liters of water a day through respiration, metabolism, and excretion. When you’re coding, you’re likely sitting in front of a computer screen for a large portion of your day. This blocks your nasal passages and reduces the ability to take in fluid.
A problem that can come from a lack of water is called “cognitive decline,” which is basically when your brain performs sluggishly. This can happen after only a few hours of being dehydrated, and it’s more likely to happen if you’re not drinking enough water regularly. A good rule of thumb is to drink one large glass of water every hour.
And, if you’re exercising heavily or in a warm environment, you can replace the large glass with small glasses every 20 minutes. You can also increase the amount of water you drink when you’re doing something like coding.
Eat well and have protein-rich snacks
Many people don’t realize the importance of their diet when coding. You want to make sure that you’re eating well and having the right foods. This will help you feel better and more energized during and after your coding session. It will also help you create better and longer-lasting solutions.
The best foods to eat when coding is high in protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. Protein helps build and repair muscles and tissue, while carbohydrates provide your body with fuel so that you don’t get tired. Fiber helps you feel full, so you don’t overeat and gain unnecessary weight.
Try eating nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables, which are high in fiber and protein. Make sure you stay away from foods that are high in sugar and fat, like fast food, cakes, and cookies. They will only make you feel more tired and bloated.
Play music you like and can listen to easily
Music is one of the best and easiest ways to clear your mind and relax. You can find the music that works best for you and your coding session. You can either play music in the background or use noise-canceling headphones. There are many studies that show the benefits of listening to music while coding.
This includes an increase in the amount of time it takes to solve a problem, as well as creativity. The best types of music for coding are ones with a steady beat, no lyrics, and aren’t too distracting. The type of music you listen to doesn’t matter. It could be classical music or hard rock. What matters is that you find a type of music you like and can listen to easily without being too distracted.
Set up your coding environment beforehand
It may sound silly, but setting up your coding environment beforehand can make a big difference in how you code. First, you want to make sure you have everything you need to code, like a computer, a good chair, a desk, etc. Second, you want to make sure your coding environment is conducive to working.
You don’t want to be distracted by other people or noises. Make sure your room is nice and quiet. You may want to turn off your phone and put it out of sight. Try to create an atmosphere that makes you feel comfortable and relaxed. You can do this by playing soothing music and having a well-lit room. You can also try programming with a friend to help keep you focused.
Maintain a good posture while coding
Poor posture can lead to a slew of health issues. When you are coding, you don’t have to sit upright in a stiff position, but you do need to keep your spine in a neutral position. Make sure you are sitting up straight and have proper support for your lower back and hips.
You want to make sure that your feet are firmly planted on the floor or resting on a footrest. You don’t want them dangling in the air because you will find yourself fidgeting and squirming around. You also want to make sure your shoulders aren’t hunched up and your head isn’t slumped forward. You want to keep a straight and neutral posture that keeps your back straight and the tension out of your shoulders.
There are many reasons why you may start to feel tired or fatigued while coding. This can happen to even the most seasoned coders, so don’t beat yourself up if this happens to you! The best ways to combat fatigue while coding is to make sure you are well hydrated, eat well, have a good posture, and take frequent breaks. Keep these tips in mind while coding and you’ll be able to code longer, more efficiently, and with less stress!