Honest Question: What do you do when you lose motivation to code?

This is one of the least talked about topic. Believe it or not but programming is hard and creating a mind-blowing software (or even going about changing/fixing an existing one) is a creative task about as difficult as creating a best selling novel or story.

Irrespective of whether or not you believe software development is creative (yeah, some folks like to think of it as a purely logical “hard science” which is full of rules and no creativity), you can’t deny that there are times when you feel low motivation.

Even the most experienced of coders face this sometimes. A problem here is that you can’t ask this on any forum because the most usual reply you get is, “Programming isn’t for you dude, just choose any other field”! This, I think is both uncalled for and inhumane. If you have nothing positive to offer, at least don’t demoralize further an already troubled soul.

Well, coming back to the title, what do you do to motivate yourself when there is a project ahead but you just don’t feel like working or you sit on the desk and start typing but nothing gets typed there, almost like a “Writer’s Block”!


That’s interesting that you wrote this because that’s exactly the reason why I came on to this forum.

Maybe somebody can explain it to me what’s happening but I went through the program and I’m in react. At the very end of JavaScript I did have some problems with recursion and those last ending lessons and I know that I need to go back to that but I thought JavaScript in general I understood the fundamentals of what you do with it and the way that you do that.

React I’m up to the section of controlled inputs and even on lessons before that I feel like I’m bogged down, like I’m stuck.

Writer’s blocked is a really good way to say it because I look at the screen and for some reason I just can’t write it. I can explain the fundamentals of it but when it comes to writing it I’m thinking one part is for something else or I’m using key value pairs or I should be using something else or I don’t know but somehow I just seem to be feeling lost to the point where I’m not quite sure how to continue. And I very much would like to.

I feel like I need somebody to Mentor me or coach me or quiz me in such a way that they can just say no you don’t yunderstand this you misunderstand this this is your problem fix this this and this and you’re good keep going.

And maybe I should look for some kind of paid curriculum that has actual teachers or something I don’t know but I’m not quite sure what to do.

And I don’t mean saying that at all as a disservice to this site this is a great thing here. But there’s a lot more background that goes into this and I can see why people go to college for four years to do this.

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Take regular breaks from work, go out in nature, work on your hobby / hobbies, join some social cause in local community, exercise, meditate.

Just coding whole week is not good for your mental health.


Hi @prahladyeri !

There are a few things I will do in this situation.

The first thing, I will usually do is get up and stretch and step away from the computer for a bit. Sometimes when I clear my head and get into a better head space, it helps with the motivation problem.

Another thing I will do is examine the project and break it down into even smaller chunks of work then before.
Part of the problem with me and motivation is looking at the mountain of work ahead of me.
If I reexamine the work ahead and break it down even further into small pieces, then the task doesn’t seem as daunting as before.

Lastly, if I am still stuck, I will reach out to my developer friends for help and have a pair programming session with them to bounce ideas off of. Sometimes that will lead to new ideas for the project or different perspectives of looking at the work in front of me.

Hope that helps!


I’m not sure what being “creative” or a “hard science” has to do with whether or not someone can deny that there are times of low motivation. The two have nothing to do with each other. I’ve worked as a technician and as a musician. Both had moments of high and low motivation.

And for the record, I don’t think I’ve ever met a programmer that didn’t think creativity was an important part of his or her job.

A problem here is that you can’t ask this on any forum because the most usual reply you get is, “Programming isn’t for you dude, just choose any other field”

Hopefully not on this forum.

Well, coming back to the title, what do you do to motivate yourself when there is a project ahead but you just don’t feel like working or you sit on the desk and start typing but nothing gets typed there, almost like a “Writer’s Block”!

Well, maybe programming isn’t for you, dude. Just kidding. Seriously, it was a callback to what you said before. Only you get to decide that.

This happens to everyone. For me, besides enjoying coding, yeah sometimes motivation drops, especially when learning. For me, I thought about my goal - get a better job, eventually something I can work remotely, so my wife and I can move to Spain. That kept me motivated most of the time. I put random pictures of Spain as my wallpaper on my computer.

Beyond that, trying to set up schedules, goals, break projects into smaller pieces and break those into even smaller pieces (an often overlooked skill), trying to work on some smaller projects when I’m learning something so I get to that payoff more quickly…

Things like that.

I also (old man speech here) think that people today are just less able to self-motivate. People are overstimulated and don’t know how to deal with that. I would look into that as a broader abstract problem - how to motivate yourself and manage time and goals. If you crack that, you’ll be ahead of the game.


I also have a motivational quote wallpaper on my phone and laptop. So whenever I feel kind a low , I just sneak peek my laptop screen.


I would also add that you shouldn’t assume that everyone else has it all figured out. Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides. If you could see inside other people, you’d realize that most of them are a lot less confident than they appear and that most people have a lot of times when they feel inadequate. We’re all figuring it out, too.


Well, I have strongs opinions about motivation and all the this is for you stuff. I never have passion about coding as I never have passion about accounting. For me its just a skill that allows me to access a remote job with good conditions and I try to be better just for self-respect.

So you can’t be demotivated if you were never motivated.

About the writer’s block ¿dev block? for me its useful to create a word and write what I want the application to do. Then I break that in little steps and I follow the roadmap.
With the front I grab a paper and draw a simple schema just as a conceptual approach, the I start coding and polishing the details

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There’s a lot of different things that can make me lose all enthusiasm for writing code.

I’m really frustrated by what I’ve been working on. I’ve been stressing and working my ass off and not getting any of that excitement of success.

I’m not really interested in what I’m working on or I don’t believe that it will have long term value.

I don’t see a good, satisfying way to solve the current problem within my practical limitations.

I’m just generally worn out as a person. My resources are depleted by my real life and I have no fucks left to give to code.

Usually, when I really don’t want to work it’s because these things are happening at the same time.

So what do I do about it? Sometimes I take as big a step back from coding as I can. I might take a few days off work, or switch myself onto tasks that don’t involve the stuff I’m avoiding (no-code tasks or working on a different part of code that doesn’t bug me). Other times, I don’t stop coding but I adjust my own expectations of myself. I am ok with the fact that I’ll actually accomplish much less for a while.

Sometimes I can reboot myself a bit by just taking time to code something that I actually want to, even if it’s not very useful or practical. This could be making a change to my work code that I’ve always wanted to but never had time for, writing some silly scripts to automate a task, or maybe just hanging out chatting with people about small coding projects that might be cool and then building one of them.

And sometimes if none of this works I just have to do it whether I want to or not. I’ve got to show up and write code to give my dogs the posh lifestyle they deserve.


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