Code & Sundry

Jon G Stødle

The peace of not coding

300 words, 2 minutes to read

For the last few years, I’ve had this notion that I need to work on some side project in my spare time. I need to be working on something. Write some code. Every spare minute I have.

For the most part, this has worked well. No problem.

However. The last few months have not been so good. I’m constantly thinking that I should be programming, but I’m not. I sit with my laptop and I’m not writing any code. I can do this for hours.

Instead of coding, I’m watching tv shows, interesting tech talks or reading interesting blog posts. But I’m not coding. And as it turns out, that stressed me. I didn’t realize until I, one month ago, said to myself: “You know what? There’s no point in me sitting with my laptop, trying to figure out a new side project for the single purpose of coding. I’m doing something else.”

All of a sudden I have a lot of spare time on my hands to do some of the stuff I haven’t gotten around to earlier: I finally chopped that wood in the garage; I tidied up in the garage; I started tidying up in the second garage. (It kind of sounds like I’m living in a palace).

The best part is: it’s really been a freeing experience. I didn’t realize how much I was stressing and building up tension because of my perceived failure of not coding. Now that I’ve finally let that go, I notice how much lighter I feel. I’m surprised at how much better I’m feeling. It even helps on my bad conscience of not chopping that wood.

Of course, once I freed myself from the need to code, I’ve actually started picking it up again; but only when I feel like it…