How to stay alert and focused while coding. 8 useful tips.

How to stay alert and focused while coding. 8 useful tips.

- November 1, 2022

For every developer, coding is the core activity that requires a high level of concentration for effective output.
With all the distractions around us, it can be difficult to stay focused while coding. So we need to be aware of these distractions and take action to resist them.

Here are 8 useful tips that can be applied to improve your effectiveness and stay alert and focused while coding.

1. Ditch the distractions

You’re at your computer, ready to code suddenly your phone rings.

Minute of notification checks turns into an hour of scrolling and getting lost on the internet and social media. Start keeping away distractions like phones and other gadgets that take away our ability to remain focused.

A simple change is to put your phone on silent mode or put it in a different room during coding sessions.

2. Decide your To-Do

Plan ahead before any coding session and decide your target for that session.

A lack of clarity about what you want to achieve during a session can also lead you to jump between tasks and try to multitask.

To help you decide on your goals for that coding session ask yourself these questions:

• What project will I be working on?
• What type of activity – New feature? Refactoring? Bug fix? Documentation?
• What are the high-priority and critical tasks that need to be done?
• What is the major task I want to accomplish at the end of the session?

A clear set of tasks and goals will help improve your ability to remain focused while coding.

3. Know your optimum time to code

Choose the right time to start coding, if you try to code at the wrong time when you’re tired, sleepy, or unmotivated then the output will be less productive.

If you don’t know what time is best for you, experiment until you’ve found an optimum time.

Some of us are more alert first thing in the morning while some prefer coding later in the day.

4. Project Management tool

The project Management tool will allow you to plan and organize your work. Notion, Asana, and Trello are some examples of such tools used by developers. It helps to organize and visualize and plan all work aspects.

Project management tools can also be used for brainstorming, listing new features, bug tracking, gathering requirements, setting deadlines, workflow etc.

5. Work on achievable-sized tasks.

This involves analyzing major tasks and breaking them down into bite-sized chunks to make it easier to tackle each task one at a time.

Using the principle of breaking down of tasks into smaller chunks will allow you to notice the progress you’re making and create a positive impact on boosting your motivation.

6. Play music to help concentration

Playing certain kinds of music can help to stay motivated and focused while coding. Play background music or sound effects while you’re doing high-intensity tasks like debugging.

The right music will help you stay focused while coding and also provide means to have a little enjoyment!

Note: This point may not apply to everyone as some may find it a lot easier to focus under complete silence.

7. Take enough breaks

It’s important to take breaks as it allows recovery and improves your ability to concentrate for long periods of time.

Famous time management technique works like this:

• 25 mins of concentrated work
• 5 min break
• Repeat this 2-3 times
• Take a much longer break 30 mins
You can choose how long you want to spend working, how long for your breaks, and how many cycles you want to perform.

8. Remember your motivation

Think about your ultimate goal

• Are you growing your skills so you can expand into new areas of software development?
• Are you working on a project for a business idea or startup?
• Are you a newbie learning to code?

Having an end goal could be the difference between seeing your project come to completion or not.


Coding requires high concentration. Factors like well-being, and the ability to plan and stay away from distractions play a major role in concentration.
Project management tools and even music assist in improving productivity.
Approach each coding session with the right attitude and plan will help you go a long way.