Coder's Block

Tips for when you are feeling uninspired.

Just like writers and artists, software engineers also go through periods or phases of uninspiration, it has happened to the best of us at some point, it's not uncommon.

Chances are that you might currently be feeling Coder's Block, you have tasks to do, but you are not just able to start working on them. You might be staring at your IDE, just watching the cursor blink on and off. In times like this, your mind may begin to wonder, you might doubt yourself or feel you are not good enough. Hey, take a breath, you are not alone, we have all experienced this at one point or the other. This post will help you come out of it. The following are a couple of things you can do to help the situation.

Take a break

Step away from your screen! Get up and go someplace else, take a walk outside, enjoy the cool breeze on your face or do something you enjoy, go to your happy place. This will help break the cycle of overthinking and provide you with some fresh perspective when you return to your code.

Breakdown the problem

When you are back from your break, take the tasks you have and break them down into small bits. I find that using a whiteboard or a piece of paper helps me understand the problem better. Try using diagrams, just draw a bunch of shapes representing your components and arrows connecting them.

Celebrate small wins

As you work on each small task, celebrate when you complete a task, I'm not saying throw a party (but that won't be bad though) but enjoy the moment and feel fulfilled by completing that one task, it would motivate you to complete the others and keep you engaged. You could give yourself a tiny reward for each task completed, just do something that would make you happy at the end of each task.

Work on something different

If you are still feeling stuck, try working on something else for a bit, it could be a personal project or even a coding challenge. It can also be something unrelated to coding like running an errand or arranging your desk, just do something that would engage your mind so that when you come back, your mind is kinda refreshed.

Ask for help

Try talking to someone, this could be a friend, colleague or perhaps a mentor, this might go a long way in providing another view to the problem, it would help you see things from a different perspective. If they have the time, you could ask them for a pair programming session with you, I have found this to be very effective. He or she might bring some motivation and enthusiasm that can rub off on you.


Next time you find yourself in a coder's block, remember it's a natural part of the creative process, use these strategies to overcome the challenge and rediscover your inspiration.

If these don't work for you, do not be discouraged, you'll have to dig deep and figure it out, trust me, when you finally get it, it will feel so good.