Wasting my time

Hello dear FCC community.

I’m new to programming and so excited and motivated to learn it. My problem is… that i procrastinate a lot. By that i mean for example i code for 15 min then im okay ill take a break. But the break will continue for a couple of hours me playing video games, and its hard to start coding again.

How can i be effective and stop being wasting my time playing games and start coding?

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Hello @Porry, welcome to freeCodeCamp! :smiley:

I’m not sure if 15 minutes then hours of doing something else is procrastination, it sounds more like just being distracted.

The simplest way is to removing yourself from distractions as best as you can. So lets say you play games on steam. Turn off steam, log-out, turn on extra authentication methods to make it more a pain to log-in. This will make it so it requires more effort to get distracted.

I also would say if your getting distracted within 15 minutes you probably aren’t getting too deep into the subject so you might be forgetting a lot of things. Id be careful to make sure you remember/grasp what you have done before, otherwise you may have to retrace your steps to review/re-learn the subject and concepts.

Finally plan and structure your learning to a schedule you follow. Its one thing to start learning for some arbitrary amount of time, its another to set yourself say 1 hour of focus on a given subject and sticking with it. Then give yourself a break for a set amount of time to rest/relax/snack/do whatever, say 15 minutes, and then back again for a set amount of time.

There are systems like the pomodoro technique, but I think giving yourself the flexibility of picking how much time you need to focus works too.

Good luck, keep learning, keep focusing and keep grinding!

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Hi @Porry!

Welcome to the forum!

I agree with @bradtaniguchi that structured learning is the way to go.
I would just suggest that you don’t take it to the other extreme and overplan your day where you get discouraged and want to run back to video games.

For example, if you are going through the JavaScript section don’t say “I am going to do the entire basic javascript, regex, debugging and basic algorithms in one day.”

That is a really bad plan in my opinion because there is no way you are going to complete all of the tasks well. Instead just say “I am going to start with the basic section and spend maybe an hour before taking a break”

Hope that helps!

Why do you want to learn how to code, do you enjoy coding?

The best way to stay motivated is not the challenges (those will only give you the tools you need), but projects that you have fun with building. For example, build a website about your video games. You don’t have to put it online, just build it in your local environment. Make your website a bestiary (if that fits your games) or a strategy guide, or a walkthrough, structure it well with what you learn about HTML, make it look good with all you learn about CSS, then add functionality when you start learning JavaScript.

Bottom line, you’ll only stay motivated if you build something that you’re passionate about.

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To me this is the most important question to ask yourself. I personally look forward to working as a programmer almost everyday because I love figuring out how to make things work. I enjoy digging through online documentation and reading poorly written readme files and just experimenting by trial and error until I can figure out how to get something to work the way I want it to. And if I can’t then I love the challenge of taking something someone else created and hacking it to fit my needs. It’s like a game to me.

So I have no problem staying motivated even after doing this for almost 30 years now. Yes, learning the basics can be a little boring at times but then challenge yourself, don’t just go through the motions, try to take anything you are working on to the next level.

I don’t want to be a downer here, but if you are really having problems staying motivated then programming may not be for you. Because the “learning” never stops. As a professional you will still spend a significant amount of time learning and re-learning, especially in web development.

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I think it’s important to differentiate between acute and chronic procrastination.

Acute means “I do this from time to time.”. That’s not a problem, because our emotions lead our actions a lot. Either you live with it or you use the normal tools like blocking the distractions. But also keep in mind that playing social games is an important signal. Maybe you need more social outreach with loved ones. Or more fun time.

Chronic means “I never feel like I want to do this.”. That’s a problem. But actually it’s not a “real” problem. I think it just shows us that our Why, our cause for doing it doesn’t relate to our deep desires. This is where I suggest to have a deeper look inside and see if I really want to become an engineer. Not everyone wants to become an engineer and that’s totally okay.

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