It is very difficult to always be coding. Here is a list that helps me make progress even when I’m presented with a hairy complicated technical problem. This list also helps soldier on even if I’m not feeling particularly motivated, or in the mood.
I’ve ordered this list from hardest to easiest in an attempt to trick my brain into doing at least one of these things:
On a somewhat different axis:
I actually love drafting with a pen and paper, as you described. Somehow it's easier for me to draw out bullet points, boxes, lines, and bits of pseudocode than it is for me to conceive of it on a screen. A trick I've been doing lately, especially when I have to learn a new system or API with many components, is to put each key function or object on a Post-it note. I stick the Post-Its on my desk, or on a single sheet in my notebook if I want to carry my diagram with me (or draw lines between post-its instead of on them). When I need to change my diagram, I don't have to erase anything, I can just move or replace the applicable Post-Its. High-tech! — Jeremy Hoffman
If you have any mind tricks, please share!
Growth Engineer at Credit Karma & consultant. Past clients include Aconex, Triplebyte, Neo, Brown Computer Science Department, Voxer, Cloudera, and the Veteran's Benefits Administration.