Lost my hacking mojo

I’ve been trying to get out of this funk I’ve been in the past few weeks. It’s been far too hard to just sit down and code outside of work. I can’t even put together a release. A large part of this is due to the amount of work I’ve been doing for VMware as of late on VMware Server. I think another part of it is that I recently finished up releases of Galago, libnotify, notification-daemon, and Leaftag and

I know this is temporary, but it’s frustrating because there really is a lot of cool stuff I’m looking forward to working on. Some may say to enjoy it, take a break, play some games. Problem is, I don’t even feel like doing that! 😛 Perhaps after work calms down and I’ve spent long enough doing nothing at home, I’ll have more motivation to code.

How do other people usually deal with this?

18 thoughts on “Lost my hacking mojo”

  1. Yeah, I totally second that. Don’t play computer games (in case you were referring to that). For me meeting friends and going out for sports works best.

  2. I don’t even look at a computer in such situations when I don’t have to (this is, at home…). I take a break, read a book, do something completely different like walking, biking. In the end it means for me that I am powered off and should not push it further.

  3. We don’t deal with it!

    Don’t think about it, just do whatever you feel like. But please, don’t use your energy on something you don’t have, it will come back eventually.

  4. Exercise is the answer. Exercise in forest, looking at some birds, trees, water, plants, everything completely different from what you do every day will help.

  5. Stop hacking during two days, go to a dropzone, get your ass out of the plane a dozen time, and rejoice !!! Once you’ve done it you’ve got more hacking mana than before !

  6. Reading is another good option, anything related to art as well… Stay away from computers until you feel the need to hack again.

  7. 3rd here for sport or unstructured exercise of some form.

    If the weather is good I tend to go for long walks, maybe read some good books (even if I read them before), and re-evaluate what I want to do. Burnout can be a sign that parts of your mind aren’t convinced about what you’re doing – how do you really feel about the things you want to work on?

  8. Incidentally and unrelatedly Gina seems to have dropped off planet tacobeam … her feed is no longer validating 🙁 I wonder if that can be fixed.

  9. I usually just don’t do anything for a week or so.

    Used to be, anyway. I’ve been so tired of late (between work + 18-month-old + 2-month-old) I haven’t managed to get into anything in a while, even when I do get the time.

    It’s very probably the extra work doing it. The amount of stuff I can hack on at home drops off significantly when work is ramped up.

  10. This happens to me a lot, as I tend to get fixated on things and completely lose my ability to focus. When I get really frustrated, I try to find a distraction or a repetitive task that can occupy my mind for a little while. I find that any sort of task that provides me with the illusion of cleanliness or organization generally makes me feel a lot better. For instance, sometimes I can regain my focus just by taking a shower or tidying up a specific room in the house.

    Sometimes when I’m really frustrated and I can’t focus at all, I reformat my computer and reinstall everything. For some reason, reformatting has a really therapeutic affect for me. When I finish getting everything installed, my whole life feels a lot more organized and my problems seem a lot less intimidating. I think it makes me feel like I’m in control.

    In some cases, I just need to get away from the project. Try spending a day or two at the local library reading about something interesting, or spend a few hours chatting in a non-developer channel on IRC.

    At times, I find that if I write about the programming project I’m working on, it makes it a lot easier for me to get interested in it again. Perhaps you should consider writing a short article about one of your projects for the GNOME Journal.

    I hope you find a way out of your rut, I’m always happy to see progress on useful things like libnotify and Galago.

  11. Sorry to ask you this way, but what is the name of this antispam WP plugin (this anti OCR required on reply)?

    In my “Rocky” generation “Mojo” translates to “Eye of tiger”, on Physics is called “Momentum” 😉

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