I’ve just started a new job (not programming-related unfortunately), and every day I come home tired and my brain is fried. As a result, I haven’t worked on FCC in a while. I do believe I want to be a programmer (more than doing this job at least), for more than just money or benefits of the job. But does the fact that I don’t enjoy learning to code more than relaxing after work mean that it’s not meant for me, that it’s not what I really want to do with my life? Or would I be having this same issue whether I was studying law, medicine, or whatever else, and it’s just the idea of using my brain after beating it up for 10 hours rather than the TOPIC I’m learning? If it’s the second case, then I need help finding some motivation to push through this point of being uninspired. Thanks, campers!
As you probably know, only YOU can answer the question of whether you really want to be a programmer enough to continue FCC. Here’s a thought, though: you mention that you just started a new job. You don’t say how long ago you started it, but I do know that whenever I’ve started a new job, the first few weeks or even months have been especially tiring and stressful. It can be a big adjustment, physically, mentally, and emotionally, no matter how you feel about the job.
What if you gave yourself a couple of weeks more --or whatever length of time makes sense to you–to only go to your job, come home and relax, and not worry about FCC–don’t pressure or guilt yourself about the fact that you are not doing it. Then, after a few weeks, try putting yourself on a schedule – say, 10 minutes of FCC per day, or 15 minutes 3 times per week, or three lessons per day, or some other consistent but manageable amount of time that gets you back into coding and making progress in FCC without exhausting you. Maybe then you’ll be in a better position to make a decision about whether you want to be a programmer enough to continue with FCC even while working full-time. You also might find that once you sit down and start coding, you get into it and work longer than you had planned to. Or not. Either way is OK but it gives you an idea of where you stand with this and if you can find the energy to continue with it.
I wish you the best in figuring this out. It sucks when you think you know what you want to do but are too tired from your day job to do what you need to in order to make that a reality. FWIW, I think there are plenty of people in the same or similar boats.
Do you get a lunch break? Maybe you could do 20-30 minutes coding each day while your brain is still working? Or in the morning’s before work?
A few things you can try.
- Work on FCC for one hour after work (or block out some time at the weekend)
- Try to work on something not FCC related
- Pair programme with a fellow camper
A ten hour workday would leave me exhausted, too!
As a person who has trouble keeping the drive going for as long as I actually need it to go, I’ve found some apps to keep me going. The one I use the most is Enki, as it’s designed for quick coding exercises/lessons. I open it up on my lunch break, learn/review a language or two, and then go back to work.
On top of that, I try to set goals for myself to work on coding on the weekends. Set reasonable goals for yourself. You don’t need to keep yourself up all night on FCC and then be dragging at the new job.
Thanks mohertz, I’m going to check Enki out! And thanks to everyone who suggested I set a goal of practicing for just 10-15 minutes, because I tried saying “I’m gonna do about 5 practice exercises” and ended up doing much more! This was just what I needed.
I’ve been thinking about the same thing lately. I’m right about half way through FCC; but a few months ago, I got hired at a pretty nice job. It’s at a high-tech company but not a coding-related position. It’s 12.5 hour days with a compressed work week. There’s hardly any stress and I like the commute and coworkers. My motivations for learning programming are money and enough time to do interesting things. Now I have quite a bit of those, at least by world standards. Maybe I’ll come back to programming after a good break; or maybe I’ll pursue some other crazy goals I’ve been pondering.
I think it’s OK to say ‘sunk cost fallacy’ at something you’re not sure of.
It you haven’t read this article, do it: http://www.paulgraham.com/love.html
It is really hard to do any “brain” intensive tasks after a 10-hour shift.
To top it up, you just started out a new job, in which you’re learning and getting accustomed to.
My advice is to fix your sleeping pattern in a way that will give you an extra 2 hours of time before you start your work. This way, you will be able to make the best use of your “willpower” and energy. Just make sure you have a good breakfast.
…that it’s not what I really want to do with my life?
The fact that you’re seeking advice to overcome this issue proves you’re interested in being a programmer. So don’t worry about it.
It’s not easy to stayed motivated for long, especially when there’s so many distractions around.
In my case I work, I’ve got family and just little time for anything else. Even when I’m stayed motivated straight after work there’s always something to do at home that I have to do before programming. At the moment my wife calls me to watch Glastonbury Music Festival (UK), but I KNOW WHAT I WANT! I need to learn and not to waste time. I love listening Ed Sheeran, but I try to stay focus on what I really want in my life. I really want to get a software developer job! This is it, you need to have passion. The passion will motivate you. But you need to passionate about programming. It’s OK to have a break… but then get to the computer and do it. No excuses.
Think about consequences. What can you achieve when you give up coding and what the future can be if you won’t stop coding. Sometimes I think about consequences for a while, contemplate, meditate on them. It what gives me power. I also try to read nice articles or videos about programming and they always motivate me. Because I want to be a programmer.
I hope your lack of motivation won’t last long (everything lasts some time and then go away). I hope you’ll be fine soon. You’re not alone. We are here for you
Be kind to yourself. If your brain is fried after a long work day it’s reasonable to want to unwind rather than work some more. The other replies in this thread have suggested some good ideas, whether that is taking a break for a bit, 10 minutes of coding at night (your brain might wake up because it’s so interesting), getting up early to do some coding before work, or coding during your lunch break.
What about your weekends? Could you dedicate an hour or more then to doing coding? Even if you’re busy with family duties on the weekends it might be possible to carve out a few hours for coding time.
Be true and kind to yourself, give yourself time to disconnect. Then consider this article that talks about clarity of purpose which I found so helpful:
Priorities change, so be patient.
At this point you may probably need to substitute enjoyment with patience, because prerequisite for enjoyment is patience. Do you have patience to practice coding after work?
As for motivation… Imo motivation is a traitress. She’ll abandon you when you least expect it, but discipline will stay with you forever.
So, try choosing patience and discipline over enjoyment and motivation. See what happens. You will be able to draw back at any time.
Totally understand! I have a 2 hour commute and a 9 hour shift. I’m exhausted and find it hard to focus on coding every night.
What helps me is sharing my progress with someone and taking time to appreciate how much progress I’ve made (even if it’s just one section). And if it’s too difficult to focus, or I’m getting frustrated, I do something else.
I hope you figure out what works for you. Learning another skill outside of a work schedule is hard, so give yourself a break every now and then.
Give yourself time to acclimate, and once you’ve adjusted, you can fit it back into your schedule. It’s a speed bump, and you’ll get over it. Good luck!
Try to do just 10-15 minutes a day no matter what. And on the weekends you need to treat it like a full time job, code all day, 8 hours like it’s your job. I remember working on websites and apps like this, but I was really enjoying it.
If you’re losing motivation, remind yourself why you got interested in the first place. Was it making an app, a webpage, a game, a database? What was it that got you started? You have to know why you are doing this. Be specific, write it down, print it out and put it on the wall where you can see it.
For me it was making an app and a webpage. I wanted to have something I could show people. This is mine, I made it, this is me. But truthfully, I did take breaks, but I always came back. So take a break if you need it, you will come back when the time is right.
My friend please be kind to yourself. If you don’t mind me saying, I think you’re being a little hard on yourself. Take it from someone who has been there, your first priority is your physical, emotional and mental health. I am an English Teacher in a rough High School and 2 years ago I decided, I wanted to follow my dream of coding. Like you, I worked super hard (8+10 hour days) and I managed to squeeze an hour or 2 of coding a day thinking that it was helping. Plus I had a close family member who was sick at the time who needed a lot of care so I had a lot on my plate. Like you I went from enjoying coding to treating it like another chore.
With all the stress I was putting on my body, my health crashed at the beginning of last year. I had really scary symptoms and I couldn’t work for months. The Doctor said that I was ‘burned out’ and after 14+ months of changing my diet, lessening my workload and simplifying my life, only now am I getting to normal productive levels.
Ironically, the more I pushed myself in my life, the less productive I became. After 4 months of non-work & non-coding, I realised how punishing my routine was. The kinder and gentler I was on myself, the more the joy and interest came into my coding and life.
I am in the same boat as you but I now tell myself ‘life is a marathon, not a sprint.’ Don’t give up - perhaps wake up 30 minutes earlier and do a little coding in the morning - it all adds up! Also take time to unwind and refresh yourself - although this is counter-intuitive, you will feel better and you will absorb a lot more. You will get there in the end!
I wish you all the very best my friend and I hope that my advise is helpful.
I completely relate to what you are going through as for the last 10 years I had been working retail banking, returning every day and not willing to to do anything and meet nobody. I somehow managed to get a MSc in Information Systems but this only led to me trying to learn new things and try to enhance my programming skills… but how do you find the courage to study in your free time when all you want is to calm down and relax?
What helped me the most (the last few months) is getting some motivation and encouraging words from fellow learners in forums like this or in the Udacity forum (where I am currently learning how to make Android apps). I realized that I’m not the only one with such kind of problems. As for how to motivate yourself to continue, it is really up to you to find which best suits you to be able to sit down and learn and practice. Does taking your laptop and going to a cafe and reading there for just an hour gonna help you? Or trying to “cut” your workload in small bits, so that you can feel some progress?
Whatever you do, try not to leave reading and practicing for big periods of time- try to maintain some minimum time (that’s up to you to decide) to study each day or day by day.
I sincerely wish that you find the courage to continue your journey!
Be true and kind to yourself.
I find that looking at the FCC map, or planning to do the future challenges on FCC can be daunting, so I don’t let myself think about that.
Can you schedule study time before you work? You can always do more afterwards if you ever feel up to it, but if you can get an hour in before you start your shift, you’ll at least have done your studying for the day.
If it’s posible try to wake up with one or two hours earlier and code. If you can transform this into a habbit you will be fine.