Finishing projects (and remembering what I've done) after a time period away from the laptop

Hello all,

I have a full time job now and I am near the end of the Front End certificate. I’ve been working on this certificate since the begining of December (almost 3 months). I just got this fulltime job because I needed more money (duh). It’s obviously not the job I want though.

I am getting frustrated sometimes when I can’t find the time to finish up these projects. At the time of this writing, I’m working on the advanced front end projects (pomodoro clock). Recently, I’ve been putting the laptop down for days at a time, coming back to them and trying to pick up right where I left off and its difficult. I’ve been commenting enough where I can read my code and know exactly whats going on. I’ve been using libraries like bootstrap and jquery to make my code shorter and easier to read.

I used to be excited to spend like 6 hours at a time on a project, but now I can’t take 6 hours to do anything. I’m either working, eating or going to work AND I live with my girlfriend who has young kids that want attention. How can I make this work? I really enjoy this stuff and I want to finish this. Its hard getting into the zone of just coding and reading and coding, when I can’t commit more than 2 hours to the laptop. Any helpful hints?!

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Hey man,

I hear where you’re coming from. I also find it challenge to balance a full time job and family/girlfriend/friends etc.

Do you have the opportunity to have at least ONE day a week to yourself? I have set this aside for myself and usually I will spend the most time I can coding. Also, I try to do something productive during my lunchbreaks at work. 1 Hour doesnt sound like much but it’s an extra 5 hours every week. You may not be able to write too much code in this timeframe but you can certainly read about a concept that’s troubling you for an hour. I guarantee if you do this you’ll understand it just a little bit more than you did the week before :slight_smile:

It’s always hard to get in the zone when you can sit down for 6-8 hours and just code. Something I like to do to combat this is set a REASONABLE goal to have accomplished within a certain timeframe. Like…OK… I have 1.5 hours, I want to add feature X in that time. Breaking your project up into small manageable chunks (and stopping at GOOD, LOGICAL breakpoints) is key. This way you dont feel confused as to what you were doing when you start back up again.

Hope this helps and keep on truckin’

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Thanks for the Advice!

I have been implementing your suggestions and they work quite well. Working on one small functionality at a time actually forces me to code better and accomplishing something, even small, gives me that satisfaction I want.

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I started the same time as you, I just finished the calculator last night and I am going to work on the Pomodoro clock this evening. I ended up not retaining a lot because I was studying and coding 2 - 3 hours a night / every day, I work in IT (it requires reading and learning daily on the job), and I am newly married (so I want to spend time with my wife). After starting the adv algorithm section, I went back started re reading material and picking up books. Then I completed the intermediate and adv sections a second time and realized that I had actually accomplished a lot knowledge wise. After getting to talk to some friends that work in the industry I set three new goals:

  1. Code something every day. Even it is a silly if statement for a mathematical equation. No excuses. If I am not near a machine to code, write it down on a notepad. (CodeWars gave me goals if I am not to creative.)

  2. Read for at least 15 minutes a day on coding. I have so many books now that this isn’t difficult. Take my time doing it. Even if its just a few pages, make sure I understand what I am reading. I then try to explain to my wife (whose primary language isn’t English). If I can explain it to her I am set!

  3. Accept my limitations. I realize that sometimes my brain is so tired that trying to learn more could actually be harmful to my retention. So practice what I know if I can’t focus.

This is about 45 minutes that I can definitely commit to everyday.