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Want to become a Happy and Productive Programmer? Use these 5 techniques from Psychology

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How Concepts from Human Psychology might help Programmers?

Would you like to program at your peak efficiency? Would you like to take pleasure in programming job? What are the tips to get unstuck from onerous issues? How are you going to push your cognitive capabilities? Turning into Psychology can inform us solutions.

Like a hero of a film, the programmer’s life has villains, diversions, fights, and feelings. Are you prepared to become a programming hero?

1. Obtain Move State

Within the well-known e-book Move: The Psychology of Optimum Expertise, Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi reveals that the key for attaining Peak Efficiency is doing work in an optimum state referred to as circulate.

Stream is perfect state of consciousness the place we really feel our greatest and able to acting at prime degree. Throughout movement, individuals sometimes expertise deep enjoyment, creativity, and utterly concerned in an exercise for its personal sake.Stream additionally occurs when a individual’s expertise are absolutely concerned in overcoming a problem that’s nearly manageable, so it acts as a magnet for studying new expertise and growing challenges.

To realize a Stream state, you bought to stability between the problem of the exercise and your expertise.

Study the talents prematurely ✅

In case your work requires a new talent (might it’s a new language or know-how and so on..), don’t attempt to study and do the work concurrently. Being conversant in it will keep away from nervousness and assist attain circulate state. So, study expertise prematurely to guarantee you have got the proper degree of expertise for the challenges within the venture.

Make it work first, then make it good ✅

The problem can be more durable in case you attempt to write good code and you may get caught. So to scale back the problem, simply write the primary model of the code that works with out worrying about it being dangerous. Then, it is going to be simpler to refactor and make it good.

Divide and Conquer ✅

One other trick is to break up your complicated work into small manageable duties in order that you’ll have management.

So the thought is to degree up your expertise or lower the problem to attain stream state. Recreation designers use this system to hold the gamers hooked. They make the problem of recreation ranges applicable to the participant’s talent in order that gamers neither feels annoyed and nor bored. Within the move state, programming will really feel like enjoying a recreation.

? When you obtain move state you’ll be the hero. However wait, there’s a villain.

2. Win Focus

Circulate expertise might not happen within the first few moments and you’ll need to keep targeted to get immersed within the work. Cal Newport takes concerning the significance of targeted work in his ebook Deep Work: Guidelines for Targeted Success in a Distracted World

Deep Work: Skilled actions carried out in a state of distraction-free focus that push your cognitive capabilities to their restrict. These efforts create new worth, enhance your talent, and are arduous to replicate.

Put aside time for Deep Work ✅

You possibly can put aside a while for targeted work. To keep away from distractions, flip off all notifications in your pc and telephone. In case you are not good at self-control, attempt Pomodoro method.

Pomodoro Method ✅

Pomodoro method offers a system to carry out deep work.


Principally, you’re employed on a activity for 25 minutes with zero distractions. Then, you’re taking a brief 5-minute break and transfer on to subsequent Pomodoro. After four pomodoros, you’ll be able to take a lengthy break. You possibly can simply discover Pomodoro apps on the web.

? Don’t be too strict with Pomodoro schedule. In case you are in a stream state, you don’t have to pressure a break when the 25 minutes is up. However there are different good occasions to take a break for a stroll which I’ll talk about later on this submit.

That is nice for exterior distractions. what about inner psychological distractions?

Commit your ideas ✅

Our thoughts often will get distracted by ideas of unfinished duties, no matter their significance. As a result of open duties have a tendency to occupy our short-term reminiscence till they’re completed.

However thanks to Zeigarnik’s follow-up analysis. We now know that,

We don’t even have to end duties to persuade our brains to cease excited about them. All we now have to do is to write them down in a approach that convinces us that will probably be taken care of.

After your work, you shouldn’t solely commit your code to supply management — But in addition write down your ideas (e.g subsequent steps, todos and so on ) in a good place.

? A programmer’s journey not solely has villains but in addition diversions and interruptions.


three. Reduce Decisions

The lifetime of a programmer includes making a lot of selections and it interferes experiencing the move state.

In his ebook The Paradox of Selection, Barry Schwartz describes how extra decisions lead to nervousness. He used quite a few examples, from purchasing to profession choices to romance, to present that much less selection cannot solely improve our productiveness but in addition our freedom and make it simpler to be within the second and take pleasure in it.


He was primarily learning the conduct of consumers however the identical precept applies to programmers. We will use some techniques to scale back the variety of selections we have now to make.

Give it some thought when choosing a language or framework ✅

Many individuals admire the Go language as a result of there is just one means to do one thing (like writing loops). Additionally, one of many causes that folks hate the Perl language is there are too some ways to do the identical factor.

So contemplate the advantages of flexibility vs restriction when selecting a language or framework. If there’s the one approach to do one thing, you don’t want to fear about implementing greatest practices.

Acquire important supplies up entrance ✅

Programmers typically have to lookup code examples or documentation to do the work. This not solely causes context switching but in addition creates a burden to decide a proper instance or API.

So, gather the required supplies prematurely so that you simply don’t have to look by way of the quite a few google outcomes and determine the best one.

Have a design earlier than writing code ✅

Attempt to make the essential selections and design earlier than you start writing your code. It will aid you concentrate on fixing the issue on the hand as an alternative of losing your power in making selections.

?What If I’ve procrastination or acquired caught on a drawback? Do you want a battle?

four. Don’t struggle towards Willpower

Research on extremely profitable individuals have confirmed that success isn’t the results of robust willpower and the power to overcome resistance, however moderately the results of sensible working environments that keep away from resistance within the first place.

There some techniques to keep away from the preventing towards willpower.

How to keep away from Procrastination?

As an alternative of forcing ourselves to do one thing we don’t really feel like doing, we’d like to discover a method to make us really feel like doing what strikes our venture additional alongside.

Have well-defined duties ✅

The first purpose for procrastination is defining your aim at excessive degree. Writing down specifics of what is going to you do, when and the place to do it supplies much more probability for truly doing it. Additionally, your mind thinks it’s too onerous if there will not be sufficient particulars. So having a significant and well-defined activity beats willpower.

Head begin on subsequent activity ✅

Individuals often take a break or name it for the day when they’re finished with a process. However, it is a good concept to start or make slight progress on the subsequent activity. Since you would have a higher concept of what to do once you begin your work on the subsequent day. It will assist you to keep away from procrastination since you aren’t beginning one thing new.

The identical concept can be utilized whereas studying a e-book. As an alternative of closing a guide if you end up finished with a chapter in case you simply learn the primary web page of subsequent chapter, you’re possible to decide up the guide once more.

How to Get Unstuck in fixing arduous issues?

Comparable to willpower, you don’t have to assume exhausting to clear up a robust drawback. You’ll be able to tune your thoughts in order that options can come mechanically to you in shocking methods!

Break for a Stroll ✅

Letting ideas linger with out specializing in them provides our brains the chance to cope with issues in a totally different, typically surprisingly productive means. Whereas we have now a stroll or a bathe or clear the home, the mind can’t assist however mess around with the final unsolved drawback it got here throughout.

So you’ll possible get an concept when you merely stroll away from your pc.

Sleep on it ✅

Go house with an unsolved drawback. Don’t attempt to drive your self to clear up it, as an alternative simply sleep. Your unconscious thoughts will work on it and you’ll possible have a answer in the midst of the night time or whenever you get up within the morning. Many occasions options for my issues appeared in midnight or very first thing within the morning or throughout my bathe.

Attempt to work on totally different drawback or venture. ✅

Typically options to issues come routinely when you’re not fascinated with it. So, as an alternative of pushing towards a exhausting drawback, redirect your power in the direction of one other productive objective. With this technique, to work on various things concurrently, you by no means encounter any psychological blockages.

? There’s nonetheless one thing lacking. Life turns into lovely provided that there are additionally feelings. Equally programming too.

5. Follow Empathy

Empathy is a vital talent that may lead to higher success and happiness in private life and career. Apply empathy in programming too. Programming isn’t just logic. It’s expressive like an artwork.

Write maintainable code ✅

Remember that the code you write will probably be learn and maintained by others.

Packages have to be written for individuals to learn, and solely by the way for machines to execute ― Harold Abelson, Construction and Interpretation of Pc Packages

Comply with the perfect practices of coding type like significant variable names, smaller strategies and so on. You shouldn’t program appear to be on this remark ?

//Once I wrote this, solely God and I understood what I used to be doing
//Now, God solely is aware of

Be sure code you write has a low cognitive load for different builders in order that it’s straightforward to keep. Write helpful feedback. Right here is a humorous remark I got here throughout ?

// Pricey maintainer:
// As soon as you’re carried out making an attempt to ‘optimize’ this routine,
// and have realized what a horrible mistake that was,
// please increment the next counter as a warning
// to the subsequent man:
// total_hours_wasted_here = 42

Use simplicity in design ✅

Whether or not you’re designing an API or consumer interface, make it straightforward on your customers. The essential precept you possibly can comply with is

Easy issues must be easier. Complicated issues must be potential.

Working towards empathy won’t solely provide help to but in addition make your staff productive and customers pleased.


Chances are you’ll be already utilizing these techniques. However understanding reasoning behind them utilizing psychology may help you do them productively.

For those who hate programming or thought-about quitting, utilizing these concepts from psychology may rework you as a pleased programmer.

If you see programming by way of the eyes of psychology, you’ll recognize it’s magnificence and benefit from the artwork of programming.