Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Recharge your programming batteries - Tips

Many of us in the field of programming and development go through a phase where we completely blank out. Our minds don’t work, our logic seems to have lost its track and we are not able to make any progress with projects. If this has happened to you and continues to happen to you… then you are not alone.

A lot of programmers and developers go through this phase on a continuous basis. I go through it at times. You could blame it on the module, your stress levels, family & personal issues, etc. But, no matter what; we still need to deliver projects on time. Clients are least interested to know what your personal problems are. They want their deliveries on time. Wouldn’t you?

Over a period of time, I have come across some tried and tested tips that will help you recharge your programming batteries. I recommend that these tips be made part of your regular programming practice, as this not only helps you to get a solution where you are badly stuck; but also relaxes your mind from the stress of thinking too much.

1. Switch off the monitor and take your book
If you cannot get a solution on your machine; try to resolve a logic issue on a book or a piece of paper. Draw flow charts and other diagrams to help you arrive at logic. Doing this will give you a new direction to look at; probably you missed a point or never thought that way.

2. Leave your development environment
At times, going away from your computer helps, as it changes the mood and freshens your mind. Continuous working on the computer at times drives you to focus on the problem so much that it keeps getting bigger. Changing the environment by either taking a walk, discussing with friends or watching some TV will help you get out of the monotony of breaking your head on a problem.

3. Play computer games
Yes, this works. Atleast for me, it always has. You can try it too. Like I mentioned earlier, it helps break the monotony of deriving a solution to your problem. Play games that get you to think and react instantaneously. A action game like Quake, DOOM, etc or a strategy based game like Age of Empires, SimCity, etc will help you in a big way

4. Meditate
Close your eyes and meditate. Taking deep breaths will help you calm down. While meditating, clear your mind of all thoughts (including the problem at hand) and relax. Feel the stress getting out of your body and mind. Think positive thoughts, visualize a place that you would like to visit for vacation.

These are some tips that I follow and hope it helps you as well. I would like to know what you do to recharge your programming batteries. Please feel free to leave behind comments for questions or if you have some tips of your own, please share; you could help others by sharing.

No comments: