One thing I hate about coding.

I hate it when I lose time like that:


I find this usually happens because I either:

  • Get lost in the code (not in a good way!)
  • Get side tracked by other portions of a project that aren’t as important
  • am frustrated over a dumb bug

Who feels the same? Have you found a solution to this?

(Yes, I’ve tried setting timers and alarms that let me know if I’m working too long, however I tend to stretch that time quite a bit when I’m in the middle of one of the points listed above)

  1. 3

    I'm sure others would comment about organization, time tracking apps (toggl) and reviewing as top ways to combat this.

    They will all be good suggestions.

    There are times when the amount of activation energy it takes to clear out a bug is just too much.

    One thing that has worked for me is delegation.

    Delegation combats this in 2 ways.
    if you pay someone (codementor .io or Upwork) then

    1. you can get it presumably done. Someone else might know the answer very quickly.

    2. By placing a price on the solution to your problem, it can help lower the activation energy. "Oh my god it's going to cost me $100 an hour to fix this? I'll just do it myself"

    And there's a 3rd bonus thing to delegation!!!

    This is the part that's helped me more than than anything else.

    By writing out my problem. By preparing the problem for delegation, I might be able to do it myself with renewed energy. This works for non-important parts of the code (which I try to delegate but by explaining realize that they are not urgent) and works for bugs that distract me.

    I'll go to doc.new and start writing the job description. That's all it takes to break me out of the troubles most of the time. By explaining to another person, it fixes it in my head.

    1. 2

      This is great in so many ways. In addition to breaking out of a rut immediately, it is training for the future (hopefully), when you’ve grown enough to that you HAVE to start hiring and breaking the project into multiple bits and re-integrating them after development.

    2. 1

      Great insights! Thanks for expanding on that piece.

      I'll try those methods in the near future!

  2. 2

    Welcome to software engineering! The best possible thing is to have someone review your work. Sometimes you spend hours on an issue that another person sees right away.

    1. 1

      Indeed! That’s one route I tend to take sometimes too!

  3. 2

    Yep! Have been down this road many times. I am a fast, fast developer so I usually just workhorse around it as fast as possible!

    1. 2

      Good for you! That’s a great habit 👍🏼

  4. 2

    Usually trying to budget different amounts for the different types of tasks (dev, admin, strategy) and then write down the most important thing to work on.

    Once that's done I switch to the next most important one until I run out of steam.

    My work blocks are usually 90-120 minutes and a break in between I've had some success with Pomodoro timers too but not using it anymore day to day

    1. 2

      Thanks for the tips!

  5. 2

    This is where “light” pair programming can really help.

    If you had another indie hacker on a shared screen, like an angel on your shoulder, they could help guide you send get you back on track.

    At the beginning of the session, explain your goals, scope, etc.

    They could spot the dumb bugs, or point out that you’re getting into the weeds.

    If you talk while you’re working, they don’t even have to be at the same level, technically, as the whole “rubber ducky” thing starts to kick in.

    It doesn’t have to be super formal, or have any methodology at all, just having that person with an eye on what you’re doing helps keep you on track.

    The trick is finding people to be your coding angel, when you need them, and, I suppose, recognizing when you need them.

    There’s benefits for both sides. The angel gets to learn, gets to mentor, and watching, helping unlimbers the mind and gets the creative juices going. Watching somebody progress on their project makes you want to progress on yours even more.

    1. 1

      Love this! I’ll definitely see if I can incorporate this in the future!

  6. 2

    use some management tool (I use clickup) and write tasks for your project(s). Then before you start working look at what priorities you selected are the highest and work on those. At the end of the day update your tasks if you finished them or if you think priorities must change because of dependency changes

    1. 1

      Cool - I’ll try that out!

  7. 2

    I start as a highly motivated person. But after a week I start feeling like "Do I really need this project?"

    1. 1

      same pinch where all that energy goes

    2. 1

      Same! I guess it all comes back to looking at why you started. Why did you need this.

  8. 2

    Hey @BraydenTW, I think we all (coders) share the same issue.

    One thing that has worked wonders for me when it comes to the side-tracking is, before I start coding I take a notebook (paper) and I write down the top 3 things I want to do during that coding session and only then I start coding.

    If time allows (rarely), then I'll jump to the other portions of the project that are not as important.

    For the #1, I guess organization is key, trying to keep things using the same nomenclature, standard... then you don't lose yourself into the code as much.

    For #3... there I no cure :)

    1. 1

      Totally agree with the points you made. I guess I can make that pre-note taking method more to the scene next time.


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