Programming Endurance

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#1 fishpond  Icon User is offline

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Programming Endurance

Posted 04 May 2014 - 03:39 PM

Programming is such a mental workout. Sitting at a desk for 8+ hours a day hammering out code can be taxing on your brain.

Besides overloading your body with coffee, how do you guys deal with mental fatigue? Any tricks or trade secrets you can share?

I'm sitting here at my desk just exhausted. I can't bear to write another line of code!

If I had my own office I would probably do some jumping jacks to wake up.

Will I eventually get used to this? Is it like exercising?

This post has been edited by fishpond: 04 May 2014 - 03:42 PM


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Replies To: Programming Endurance

#2 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming Endurance

Posted 04 May 2014 - 04:16 PM

If you are sitting at your desk for 8 hours straight and coding, then you are doing it wrong.

The most important thing you can do is to take frequent meaningful breaks. I recommend 15-20min breaks every two hours minimum. Get some fresh air, go grab a drink. Trick is to keep your mind off of programming and to reconnect with life a bit during your breaks. Be sure to also stay on a schedule, eat well and exercise to keep your brain in top shape.

I know for some of us this is harder than it sounds and even I bend the rules from time to time but there has been no break that I would take back because usually when you get back from a break, you will have a break through. This is because while you are on break, your brain is still churning in the background even if you don't realize it.

Oh and throughout the year, be sure to unplug and take your vacations. Your boss, as well as you, will be glad you did. :)
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#3 fishpond  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming Endurance

Posted 04 May 2014 - 04:22 PM

View PostMartyr2, on 04 May 2014 - 04:16 PM, said:

If you are sitting at your desk for 8 hours straight and coding, then you are doing it wrong.

The most important thing you can do is to take frequent meaningful breaks. I recommend 15-20min breaks every two hours minimum. Get some fresh air, go grab a drink. Trick is to keep your mind off of programming and to reconnect with life a bit during your breaks. Be sure to also stay on a schedule, eat well and exercise to keep your brain in top shape.

I know for some of us this is harder than it sounds and even I bend the rules from time to time but there has been no break that I would take back because usually when you get back from a break, you will have a break through. This is because while you are on break, your brain is still churning in the background even if you don't realize it.

Oh and throughout the year, be sure to unplug and take your vacations. Your boss, as well as you, will be glad you did. :)/>


That's a good idea. I should write a program that can remind me to get up every couple of hours.
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#4 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming Endurance

Posted 04 May 2014 - 05:48 PM

$leave 1000

In Linux terminal
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#5 fishpond  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming Endurance

Posted 04 May 2014 - 10:27 PM

View Postastonecipher, on 04 May 2014 - 05:48 PM, said:

$leave 1000

In Linux terminal


It jusy says:

-bash leave: command not found
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#6 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming Endurance

Posted 04 May 2014 - 10:40 PM

You have to have it installed.


Example from my terminal now...

Quote

andrew@toshibshit:/var/www/projects$ leave 0137
andrew@toshibshit:/var/www/projects$ Alarm set for Mon May 5 01:37. (pid 10072)
Just one more minute!

Time to leave!

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#7 fishpond  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming Endurance

Posted 04 May 2014 - 10:46 PM

View Postastonecipher, on 04 May 2014 - 10:40 PM, said:

You have to have it installed.


Example from my terminal now...

Quote

andrew@toshibshit:/var/www/projects$ leave 0137
andrew@toshibshit:/var/www/projects$ Alarm set for Mon May 5 01:37. (pid 10072)
Just one more minute!

Time to leave!


Lol! Nice!!!
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#8 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Programming Endurance

Posted 07 May 2014 - 10:06 AM

I like the suggestion in the man page that you add it to your .login script.

Quote

If no argument is given, leave prompts with "When do you have to leave?". A reply of newline causes leave to exit, otherwise the reply is
assumed to be a time. This form is suitable for inclusion in a .login or .profile.

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#9 depricated  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming Endurance

Posted 07 May 2014 - 10:27 AM

Even if you're in a shared area, get up and walk around. It's not likely anyone is going to bitch about it. I try to get up every couple hours and go gaze out the window for a bit, clear my mind. Maybe go play a couple turns of Settlers on my phone. In addition to brushing away the cobwebs of mental funk it also lets you approach whatever you're working on from a fresh angle. There have been so many times that I'd sit and stare at a problem for hours, walk away or go home, come back to it the next day and a fix just comes to me.
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#10 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Programming Endurance

Posted 07 May 2014 - 10:36 AM

Oddly enough, I pushups to be very useful for quick breaks. Not so odd, really - they get you away from the keyboard, they get your blood moving, and they unkink the shoulders pretty good.
This is easier lately since I'm working from home.
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#11 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming Endurance

Posted 07 May 2014 - 10:42 AM

Get up at least once an hour. Back away from the screen. Just move around. I walk to coworkers' cubes, "hi, wazup, just movin around, k."

When I'm burnt and coffee ain't working, I'll take a longer walk for lunch. Or just meditate in the car for twenty minutes.
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#12 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming Endurance

Posted 07 May 2014 - 10:43 AM

As unhealthy as it is, I go out for a real cigarette. Clears and lets my mind wander, destresses me, and gives me a 5 minute break.
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#13 Kearo_6  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming Endurance

Posted 07 May 2014 - 06:14 PM

If you work from home or are able to at your workplace without getting in trouble, I recommend a quick 20 minute nap. When i feel stressed or unmotivated, a nap always leaves me refreshed and ready to work. Or as already said taking a quick walk or staring out a window really clears the mind.
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#14 ybadragon  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming Endurance

Posted 08 May 2014 - 08:52 AM

As others have said don't code for 8 hours straight. I take at least 1 break every 2 hours for 20 minutes. There are times this won't help though and the issue at hand is you need time away. Make sure to take your vacation days, get up walk around. I walk around my building every day.
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#15 TgaJava  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programming Endurance

Posted 08 May 2014 - 09:26 AM

Call your gf and have some fun men but don't forget to get back to work
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