You do the same things every single day. You write code to solve a problem in the same way, week after week, year after year. You have reached the point where you think the only way to escape this boring working life is to change company.

If you believe this is the only way to get your motivation back, I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is that it will work. The bad news is that it will work for not so long. So, what can you do?

Look At The Past

Do you know the Terracotta Army? Historians estimate that there are more than 8,000 soldier statues.

Probably single parts (heads, arms, bodies and legs) have been created separately and then put together in an assembly line. I don't know how many sculptors have been involved but I'm pretty sure that each one of them created tens of the same part.

Now I would like to say "stop whining and think at those poor sculptors!" but I won't. My point is that the job of these artists was pretty boring: create heads (or legs, or arms), one after another for weeks. The same old job, right? Wrong!

They vary in height, uniform, and hairstyle in accordance with rank. The faces appear different for each individual figure [...] some may wear shin pads while others not; they may wear either long or short trousers, some of which may be padded; and their body armors vary depending on rank, function, and position in formation.

- From Wikipedia

Just like those ancient artists, you can make every program unique. There are many strategies you can adopt.

Gaining Back Your Motivation

Instead of thinking about similarities, concentrate on differences. What makes this project different from the others? Once you find the answer, spend more time on this part, since the remaining is something you already know, right?

When you're done with a project, spend some time to review your job. When working with strict deadlines, it's common to cut corners. Being conscious about what has not been done properly will help you on the next project.

On The Technical Side

You can explore new frameworks, new libraries, new languages. At this point you can do two things: do the next project with this new technology. Or, simply get new ideas and transport some concepts or solutions into your projects.

You can use new algorithms (did you know that mergesort performs better than quicksort on linked lists?) or different data structures (you may use hash tables instead of arrays).

If you find yourself writing similar code, you may be tempted of copying and pasting code from old projects. Why don't you create a library of generic functions to solve a whole category of problems?

Also using a new editor or a different IDE can help you to kill the boredom. If you don't want (or can't) move on a new editor, you can change it's colors (have you already tried

Still Bored?

It's possible that none of the above ideas seem to work and you have to find your own way to gain back your motivation. The only thing I can suggest at this point is to look inside yourself. And when you've found something that works for your, please come back here and share your solution in the comments.

Image credits: Terracotta Army by Jean-Marie Hullot licensed under CC BY 2.0

Post last updated on 2023/10/07.