Dealing with overwhelm


It’s easy to feel overwhelm as developer. We have so many things to learn.

We need to learn HTML, CSS, JavaScript, accessibility, animations, frameworks, dev tooling, and new things that pop up every now and then.

I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re overwhelmed. I feel overwhelmed too. Every single day.

Why you feel overwhelmed

It’s easy to understand why. There are only two factors.

One. You take on too much. Too much to do, too much to research, too much to learn.

Two. You don’t have enough resources. You don’t have enough time, money, manpower, skills, etc.

Removing overwhelm is an easy process if you can reduce the amount the work you do.

It is also easy if you can increase your resources. The easiest way to increase resources is to gain more manpower. But to hire people, you need money. You may lack money and you may choose to do it yourself. If you do it yourself, you need time and skills. That brings us into an spiral of feeling overwhelmed.

But there’s something you can do to stop feeling overwhelmed.

What do to stop feeling overwhelmed

You can do two things.

First, extend the deadline you gave yourself.

Take more time. Go slower. Have more space to work and learn. Don’t stress yourself up too much. When you don’t stress yourself, you free yourself up and let the creative energies flow.

That’s what I did with Learn JavaScript. I wanted to finish the course in three months when I started creating it.

Obviously, I failed to meet the deadline.

I’ve been working on Learn JavaScript for more than six months now. What I learned to do is to let go of the deadline. If I have the deadline, I couldn’t make it the course I wanted it to be. The deadline was arbitrary. It’s what I want, but not what was required.

Once I let go of the deadline, I create faster than before.

Second, work regardless of what you’re feeling.

You set a time to work everyday. You can do it for half an hour, one hour, or even longer than that.

Start working at the time you set. You also stop working at the time you set.

You will not allow any form of distraction during this time. You will not use Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube. You won’t surf the internet.

What’s more important is you also won’t listen to the voice that says you’re not good enough, you have too much to do, you don’t have enough time. Tone down the negative chatter. Shut it off.

Stop working when the time is up. Don’t work overtime because you’ll build up resentment against the next sprint.

Do it everyday. Build up a momentum. Sooner or later you won’t feel overwhelmed. You’ll just get to work.

One last message

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Your work, your learning, will probably not be completed in a day too.

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