One of the most important practices in software development is taking breaks. I know how weird that sounds but it’s true. Programmers often focus on getting the task done and forget about their own mental and physical health. Taking breaks can help you be more productive , they help rest your body , and they help by letting your brain digest any code you’ve written.
Programmers are constantly wearing themselves out. We continuously take on more and more work until we reach our maximum threshold of stress. I’ve done it numerous times where I say that I can work on a project even when my plate’s overflowing with other things on the go.
The problem with stressing out over projects is that your efficiency goes down. You start worrying about completing your projects instead of worrying about proper design, implementation, testing and other important tasks related to project development. One of the best ways to combat stress is by taking small breaks throughout the day.
Lets your Mind Digest Code
When you take a break from programming your mind continues to digest the code that you’ve been working on. I have no idea why this happens but I do know that your brain can subconsciously work out problems that you may have been stumbling on.
I can’t recall the number of times where I’ve been working on a tricky algorithm and left it for the night only to have my brain figure it out while sleeping. Hopefully when this happens I can wake up and get a piece of paper or at least remember it in the morning, but sometimes the train of thought is lost. Taking a break will allow your brain the time to help you figure out any problems you’re having with your program.
Gives your Body a Break
As a programmer, your eyes, wrists and hands are very important to your job. Taking care of them can make the difference between a long career as a programmer or switching careers. You need to properly support your wrists and make sure you don’t strain your eyes. Most programmers don’t take care of themselves and this will only hurt them in the years to come.
Taking breaks gives your body time to rest from the strain of the monitor and keyboard. Even taking 10 minute rests every couple of hours will decrease the strain on your eyes. Having an ergonomic keyboard and properly setting up your working space will also help minimize the strain on your body.
Lets you Socialize
Communication is extremely important in the workplace. Understanding the way your co-workers communicate can improve your working situation and make you more popular at work, which in turn can propel your career. Taking a break allows you a chance to get to know your co-workers and understand how they communicate with each other and with you.
Every once in a while, stop your programming, get out of your chair and have a coffee with a co-worker. You’ll be surprised what friendships can occur and how enjoyable work will become.
Importance of Taking a Break
Taking breaks is important in the development world. It gives your mind time to digest code, gives your body a chance to rest, relieves stress, and finally it gives you a chance to communicate with co-workers. Even if you have a number of projects due soon, take a break, you’ll be more productive when you come back.
Does taking a break help you with your development? What do you do to take a break from your work? Feel free to drop us a line in our comment section below to tell us your thoughts about taking breaks.