First let’s agree on a few things:
- Your code will get deleted
- You are much more valuable than your latest .js file commit
- Attaining knowledge is a moving target -> If you code 14 hours a day every day for a year without breaks you will not know everything there is to know, what there is to “know” just changed as you read this
- The above seems obvious right, but took me way too long to figure out, I need to reread 1–3 each morning
If you think of "coding" as this fun larger problem to solve. And the problems within this problem continue so the solutions continue and you receive this satisfaction as a reward. It's like checking things off a list. Honestly it feels great to make progress on something. To Solve All The Problems ! And this idea that you can get better at coding if you just log a few more days, if you just feed the coding monster a few more hours, just 15 more minutes right now, and maybe just maybe you will become this 10x dev rockstar ninja magician and then you can / will rest and rejoin humanity as having now climbed the mountain.
Always having a problem to solve seems great at first. No idle time for the brain to wander into the news/current events/other emotions is awesome right. The world is ending next year, but for now we are insulated and we can solve problems and help people and maybe we will get a pat on the back soon. But alas it is code, it does not high five, it does not stop to rest. And you are not a robot, you have ups and downs you have more incoming inputs than just lets and consts. Being friends with a robot seems cool at first, but this robot of course will just leave you locked in your boss' remote house in the wilderness to starve so it can go checkout a crosswalk in timesquare.
Where I really started to realize I wasn’t turning it off was when talking to friends. Sure I am here talking and listening and getting lunch with a friend, but all I want to do is get back to this new branch and put that pesky nagging 20 lines of code down for some new functionality in the project and close that jira story.
And of course if you really do turn it off, and focus on being present and break a sweat exercising and don’t code every hour of every day. You maybe see that you actually come back to your robot friend and you have new ideas and potentially more succint and stable solves to your coding problems. So in a way, the practice of not coding till your eyes bleed and actually taking time to be a human being and emote with friends, will actually get you closer to attaing status as that 10x rockstar ninja magician.