Getting into a flow state is super helpful when you’re trying to get some coding done. Whenever I’m working on a course exercise or side project I find a few things in my daily routine really help focus my mind:
- Keeping my desk tidy – It seems silly but a cluttered desk is a cluttered mind for me. Keeping my workspace simple and functional really makes a difference.
- Meditation – I’ve dabbled with this for years, but this year I decided to make it a daily habit. I’m not perfect at it, but I’d say I manage to get 10 mins done in 9 out of 10 days. When I miss a day I notice it. I’m currently using Waking up with Sam Harris, which I’ve found very educational too.
- Music – Not all music is good for coding, but the right music makes a world of difference to me. I have a few sources I use to block out the world:
- Code Radio – Free Code Camp has a live streaming station via YouTube which is specifically for helping developers concentrate.
- White Noise – This isn’t technically music, but it’s just as effective at blocking out distraction.
- Spotify or Apple Music focus playlists – If you use a streaming service, there are loads of shared playlists for focus, concentration or study that do the job. I suggest using a paid service if you can afford it. Although I don’t come across a lot of ads in the free version of Spotify, they are frequent enough to interrupt my thinking.
- Changing location – Most of my best work happens in my home office, but some of my best work is done in a busy café. Sometimes when you’re having a hard time getting your head around a problem the best thing to do is take a break, change location and give it another go. There’s something about a change of scene that can make all the difference.
- Eat – If I’m not paying attention I don’t eat. If I don’t eat, I’m not effective at much of anything. I find removing choice helps me to stick to regular patterns of eating. Like with meditation I don’t always get this right but as a general rule, I eat basically the same thing each day at the same time. This makes sure I’m both fed and also taking regular breaks.
Do you have some flow state secrects I haven’t covered?