How to quickly recover when you have no motivation to code

How to quickly recover when you have no motivation to code

As a programmer, the activity of coding is of course essential to making progress in your practice or in getting work done and implementing projects.

However, sometimes you have no motivation to code and you may feel it’s taking more and more effort each time to open that code editor. 

Having no motivation to code can be caused by feeling overwhelmed with your tasks or frustration about lack of progress. Tiredness also plays a factor, and feeling burned out will make it a lot more difficult to stay focused on your tasks.

Having no motivation to code can be a problem whether you’re a newbie learning to code, thinking of starting a new project or you’re in the middle of working on one.

It’s important to acknowledge feelings of having no motivation to code so you can work on a recovery plan.

We’ll discuss some effective tips that can help boost that motivation and get you coding again. By following these tips you will hopefully recover and start looking forward to your coding sessions rather than avoiding them!

Understand why want to code

Overcoming the feeling of having no motivation to code will take some will power. If you’re feeling a lack of motivation it might be because you don’t have a good enough reason why you want to code.

If you have a job as a developer then you code because that’s part of your job!

But if you’re working on a side project with no one waiting for the end product and no time pressures, how do you keep going?

Your why is critical so make a list of reasons why coding is essential to you accomplishing whatever your end goal is.

For example, let’s say you want to complete a personal automation project. In what ways will your life be made simpler by having this project completed?

Or if you’re learning a new language. Why do you want to learn that language and what made you interested in picking it up in the first place? To get a development job? Or is it part of your plan to start a business? 

Whatever your motivates for coding are, make sure you are clear about them. Write them down and refer back to your list whenever you’re feeling a lack of motivation.

Not just limited to coding, being reminded of your why is important to keep that motivation and purpose alive for whatever your endeavor is.

Break your tasks into smaller chunks

More than often, one of the reasons for having no motivation to code can be your perception of lack of progress on your endeavour. 

Maybe you’ve been working on a project for so long and still have a long way to go. Or you got stuck on a particular problem and because of the struggles and decided to take a long break from the project. Or you were learning a programming language or framework and couldn’t grasp what you were learning.

A lack of progress can psychologically have negative effects and lead to disappointment and eventually abandonment of that task.

One way to overcome this is to take your task and break it down into smaller chunks. This will make it easier to approach tasks that require a large amount of work.

“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!” – Unknown author

Let’s say you’re in the middle of working on a mobile app project. 

If your current todo list is something like: develop app UI

Break it down into something like: sketch UI design, develop the wireframe, decide on colour palette, collect images, etc…

This same method can be used also if you’re learning something new. 

For example, if you’re learning a language rather than having a virtually non-existent todo list of: learn X programming language and get a job!

You could break it down into: complete tutorial on variable types, complete tutorial on functions, complete a quiz on fundamentals of language, etc..

The idea is, the smaller you’re able to break down your tasks, the easier it will be to approach each one. 

With each task completed, checking items of your list will give that feeling of progress that you need to keep that motivation going.

Do a variety of coding activities

Sometimes the lack of motivation can be caused by just being bored after working on the same task for a long time. 

One way to prevent this is to take short breaks from your major task and perform other activities to find ways to keep things interesting.

This can be in the form of coding up a short and sweet application. Or perhaps can take some fun coding quizzes or join a coding challenge based website and tackle a challenge. You can even join a short term based coding competition like a mini hackathon or a game jam.

This will allow you to take a break from whatever your major task is and perform other coding activities not directly related to that task. This way you can still keep up your coding habit but can also take time to do other things if you want a break from your main task.

These breaks from your main task can help create a sense of relaxation and boost your motivation to code when you resume your task.

Remain consistent to build up a coding habit

Sometimes you may find yourself having long gaps between coding sessions. Ideally, if you’re working on a coding task for a particular reason you want to remain consistent in how often you do it.  Of course it’s also okay to take random times off occasionally to relax and unwind.

Whether it’s being consistent by coding for one hour a day, or every second day, or at the weekend every weekend, being consistent is key to creating a habit.

This way you already know how often you should be coding and can plan your day or week to ensure you are able to carry it out.

You’re likely coding to achieve something as an end result so ideally it should be part of your routine. Remaining consistent to build up a habit of coding at defined times should help with your motivation as it becomes part of your daily or weekly schedules.

Once you’ve formed the habit you’ll become used to your coding sessions and learn to just sit down and start coding. Maybe with time you’ll even begin to look forward to your coding sessions!

Join a coding group or community

If you’re learning to code or working on a project by yourself, it can be hard at times to stay motivated when you’re on the journey alone.

Being part of a supportive developer community can greatly boost your determination to continue with your goal. Join a community where you can share your progress and exchange knowledge and experience with others.

You can also aim to join a community that encourages active participation by submitting code or joining into challenges. 

For discussion based and knowledge sharing developer communities checkout, Codenewbie and Hackernoon. For challenge and competition based developer communities checkout freecodecamp, Codewars and

Here at our inspirezone community we provide support for your personal coding goals. We are striving to create an environment to keep you active and enjoying coding while also making sure you are kept accountable and heading towards your goals. Join us if you’re interested in becoming part of our community 🙂 

If you’re not convinced yet see our post on 5 Persuasive reasons to join a developer community.


When you find yourself having no motivation to code it can be difficult to overcome the feeling. However, with the right amount of effort and following tips like the ones we’ve outlined you should be back into coding again!

Remember not to forget your reasons for wanting to code. Keep going, join a supportive community and seek help if you’re stuck on something.

Comment below if you found this post useful and happy coding!

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