Handling mental fatigue

How do you guys handle mental fatigue while coding? God I wish I could have my early morning brain all day. Most of the day I have some degree of subtle tiredness though.

I, um…

what were we talking about, again?


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Splice your learning over a few days. I did a hard 12 hour study day. And I crash for 2 days. Not a cool trade off.

Metaphorically (and in the woo-woo space) the mind and body are separate entities that rely on each other and share energies. If one entity is exhausted, then the other has that shifted energy. Physical activity and exercise will shift that energy to the other side of the equation.

I would do a long, slow run or walk to shift some of that energy into the mind space. Even some rhythmic movement like dancing or biking would be a good alternative.

Just some thoughts…


Yep, body and mind are one. All mind and no body is no good. This is obvious stuff but always worth repeating: the big three are good sleep, good food, exercise. I find that the easiest one to focus on deliberately is exercise, because you can’t really force a good sleep and it’s tempting to eat poorly sometimes. When you are very active, the rest will follow. You automatically sleep way better, and your body craves nutritious food. Your mind will be very thankful. A fourth big helper is meditation if you can do it. That’s a tough one and I’m still learning how to do it. Sometimes at work when I lose focus I just get up from my chair and stand straight, stare at the wall and breathe deeply for 5 minutes. It does wonders. Also, for me, coffee is a life saver :grinning:

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How do you guys handle mental fatigue while coding?

From my experience, you build a discipline to it with time.

However, a good diet, sleep hygiene, workout, and mindfulness meditation are key to combat mental fatigue. (Ordered based on priority - imo)

Last but not least, make some time to relax. Do something that makes you “genuinely” refreshed! This thing is subjective and different from one person to another. (walk, art, family time, stargazing, simple games, smoking, spa, tea time…etc.)

I have seen/read about people who relax by working on their “own” software projects. Personally, I find it a bad practice. I think this time should be spent away from computers or complex stuff, especially if your career is based on such device. But oh well, it’s your choice not mine.

I wish I could have my early morning brain all day.

We all do. :smiley:

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I work my other job that pays the bills, coding is a hobby that I want to do when I retire from the other job. So there are days or shall I say nights, when I am dog tired and I should just go to bed, but I want to get some coding in. Those are rough, because my ability to focus is at it’s lowest. Its almost better for me to just set aside the laptop and fall asleep. I have been sneaking in some coding at work. I work on a problem for freecodecamp in a not logged in state and then email my solution to myself so when I get home I can do a quick plug and chug and move onto the next problem. I also have a busy home life. Four kids, so we are busy most evenings. But exercising is key. I work out 4-5 days a week… I’m in the gym at 4am because the rest of my day if full. But, yeah, exercise is key to all else. I agree with @Soupedenuit, exercise leads to eating better as well.

I had a LOT of fatigue when I started to learn web development from the scratch, right here on freeCodeCamp. I started big, doing 4-5 hours of coding a day, and I burned out after a couple of days. After that, I started again but with only 25 minutes a day, and built it up gradually to around 5-6 hours a day over a period of six months.
Anyway, the hours don’t matter a lot, it’s different for each individual person.

What helps me, beside 3 walks a day with my dog, is doing something totally different from programming. If it is nice weather outside, I play basketball for half an hour just, right when I feel the most fatigued, and continue programming more after the basketball and a shower, it feels good.
Going outside generally helps a lot, breathing fresh air, talking with non-IT people about non-IT subjects.

Coffee also helps a lot.