Lack Of Inspiration? Where Do You Turn?

This hasnt really happened to me in quite some time but lately I feel like Im suffering from what may be the geek equivalent of writers block. I dont really know how to describe it other than a lack of inspiration, I just lack the desire to write code. Maybe its the artist side of me that takes over too much.

Now after a few hours in the morning of checking email, catching up on the Coldfusion feeds and some good ‘ole Digg Technology news. I can finally ‘make’ myself start coding. Although I have to feel that Im not doing my best work since Im forcing myself to sit here and code.

I work from home and I have been putting in about 12 – 15 hours a day over the last week and Im almost certain that is whats causing it. I have so many things I want to work on right now but I just cant seem to make myself do it though. Im working on my first FarCry site for one of our clients and thats pretty cool because Im exploring something new and Im learning. I have so many things that need to be done on Trac_Fu, I have another great idea that I want to code up and submit to Ben Nadel’s CFUnited contest. But it seems like every 30 minutes Im jumping out of my chair to take a quick walk through the house or find an excuse to do something other than work.

Please tell me Im not the only one who deals with this sort of thing. What do you guys do when you get that feeling of just not being inspired?

7 thoughts on “Lack Of Inspiration? Where Do You Turn?”

  1. I think we all go through that from time to time. Ironically, when I have TON of ideas and so little time to do them, that makes me even less motivated because it’s like "what’s the point"? I am just gonna start something and then not be able to finish it or not be able to work on it again for like a month. That’s depressing.

    When I am really feeling unmotivated, I just stop coding. No point it forcing yourself to do it. I take that time an watch a movie (or two), go the gym, maybe even just go for a walk. The idea of not coding for a whole weekend is funny to me, but sometimes, you just gotta screw it and not even boot up the computer at all for a few days. I find, when I do stuff like that, I start to get restless… I think about all the dreams I had and the applications I want to build, and then before I know it, I am super motivated again.

    I am slowly learning NOT to fight the times of being unmotivated. I am learning to embrace them as red-flags that I should just be doing something else for a while.

  2. I’ll second Dan’s comment.

    When I lose my motivation to code, it generally happens for one of two reasons.

    1) I have been working too much.
    2) Allergies are coming.

    Either way, I am tired but not so that I realize it consciously. As Ben said, sometimes that is a sign that it is time to take a break.

  3. Personally that is exactly how I code. I code for about 45 mins to an hour and then take a break for about 15 minutes, rise, repeat. I’m getting too old to be sitting in front of a computer for 6 hours at a time. Plus I find that if I take breaks I get more accomplished when I come back to work. The thing is trying to avoid burn out. Once you get a case of burn out, it’s very hard to recover from.

  4. While I agree with the pollen comment, clearly you are suffering from burn out. You need to:

    1. get out of your office when you are "done" for the day.
    2. do something else other than the computer such as video games, yard work, or going out for dinner with family and/or friends.
    3. Post-pone your desire to work on personal software endeavors for a week.

    When you’re workload dies down, you’ll find you’ll have more energy again. Regardless, working from home is the double-edge sword in that your office is also your lab. The emotional baggage is associated with it. Thus, if you’re burnt out, your office will not provide solace, but rather reminders. This is not conduscive to providing inspiration to code on personal things.

  5. I wonder if its the time of year or even the wether?

    I have been feeling exactly the same. Even a brand new machine has failed to inspire me. Yesterday I felt better and today I am ready to code. What changed? I have no idea!

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