I'm not feeling motivated to code. I like to work on small personal projects outside of work but sometimes I'm just not feeling up to it.

I code all day at work. Eight hours. 40 hours and 5 days a week. So I code a lot. I spend all day solving problems and getting stuff done for our clients. I shouldn't feel obligated to code on my time off. Though, many times I want to.

However, sometimes I just don't. Right now I don't. I mostly feel this way when I feel stressed or overwhelmed. Right now I feel that way. What I do as a developer is centered around doing support work. I fix issues/bugs, help clients fix things they broke or just help them with something they don't know how to do, add and edit features, for older sites I may update content, and work on small projects. Support work also means I have to monitor our help desk and create tickets for myself and other developers. Normally we have a team. There's me and a couple others so it's not just one person's responsibility.

Right now, though, my team is out of office so I have been by myself for the past few days. I'm doing a lot of stuff I normally don't do. I'm trying to figure out where to send tickets when I'm not sure who can take care of them. I'm taking phone calls and many times they are regarding things I don't fully understand.

What is driving me nuts is that I can't focus. I'm constantly jumping around from ticket to ticket. I'm worrying about tickets coming in or tickets I'm not sure what to do with. I'm asking my supervisor questions and advice constantly. My tickets are piling up and I'm not being productive. I'm getting irritated. I'm stressed and mentally exhausted.

Therefore when I get home I just don't feel like doing anything and I'm worrying about the next day. I have one more day of being the lone help desk jockey. I'm dreading it. I can't wait for it to be over.

This is a motivation killer. However, I know it will end and my job will go back to normal. I'll feel productive again. I won't be worrying and dreading the next day. I'll be able to focus and solve problems better. I will feel more motivated.

In the meantime, how do I handle this?

  1. I still try to stick to my routine. This means I still go to the gym. I don't skip meals. I go for my lunch walks. I read. I work on something creative (like drawing), and I zone out watching a show on Netflix before going to bed.

  2. I have to remember to be kind to myself. I have to remember I'm trying my hardest to do the best I can. I don't want to beat myself up for mistakes (like sending a ticket to the wrong person, or not being super helpful when on a phone call). Don't think less of myself because I'm not working much on personal coding projects. Don't catastrophize this. Not working on something for a few days or a week doesn't mean you will abandon it. It's not a failure. It's a pause.

  3. I try to be kind to those I care about. I don't take my worry and stress out on others. I enjoy my partner's company. I pet and play with my cat. I just try to leave my problems behind. I enjoy my dinner with Ben. I can't be miserable and I can't make others feel miserable too.

I love my job but I don't love every day of it. With everything I love there will be difficult times. There will be great times too. Hopefully more of the latter. Everything is temporary though. Also, the rough patches are a time to gain strengh, resiliance, and learn.

In short, just take a break and don't feel bad about it. Realize it will be over with soon. Plus, I will learn new things about my job, learn more skills and come out of it all more experienced and ready for future challenges.