It's to a programmer like a pandemic to a society. It creeps up on you. Slowly. There are some tiny signs of it at first but... who would bother? Then it becomes quite obvious but to an untrained eye, it still seems ignorable. I mean, it's not like it's thaaat bad. Life's a bit harder but for sure that can't yet justify the effort that would have to be applied into resolving it now that so many things are affected?
Shortly after, in case of a pandemic, we wake up as a society with overloaded hospitals, a badly-hit economy, and a lack of organizational structure to deal with the exponentially arising problems.
In case of clutter and disorder, a coder wakes up with a couple of glasses, dirty plates, used face masks, unnecessary gadgets, a few useless cables, and an endless list of how-did-this-even-get-here items on their desk, laptop's desktop overflown with icons and files that should have never made it to the front of his workspace, code-base with hundreds of ignored linting errors, and a general feeling that it would take more energy to sit down and put a few hours into the project than to pick up a new career (yes, you guessed right: that is me describing my work-space from a few days ago).
If there's one thing you should do today, let it be this: unclutter yourself. If you can, just pause anything else you're doing right now, set a timer for 1 hour, and try to clean as much of the unnecessary mental barriers that exist between you and the joyous motivation to write code that you hopefully still can remember. Your future self will thank your now-you. Trust me.
Not enough time? Do the same thing tomorrow. First thing in the morning. Start your day by offering yourself the gift of a clear, uncluttered work environment that will surely translate into higher efficiency, less stress, and ultimately a happier life.
If you have previous practice meditating or practicing mindfulness, I believe it is helpful to try to apply the same kind of techniques to observing when we decide to cut corners and start piling up the clutter that ultimately creates many corners more. Try really paying attention to that feeling when you type
: any or sit down to a dirty workspace instead of cleaning it first.
And then try to observe how pleasurable it is and how positively it affects your motivation when you feel that your workspace and your code are clean.
Here's a quick challenge for you: post in the comments a picture of your desk or your laptop's desktop (or both) right here right now. Without cleaning or changing anything 🤨🧐😀