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I think it is kinda strange but I just noticed that I have this odd habit of feeling tired, sleepy and dizzy when I encounter a (programming) problem that I can't solve after a while of trying. It generally shows up when I'm dealing with svn, reading someone else's code or resolving regression issues (old bug reappearing again).

To my understanding, this has nothing to do with being exhausted or tired because I just felt brilliant like 30 minutes ago and now, after 30 minutes of wrestling with a problem that I can't (apparently) solve, I suddenly feel an urge to go to sleep. And I really can go to sleep when I feel like that. If I shift my focus to something else or just leave it, then after like 10 minutes or so I feel normal again and am ready to continue.

I finally managed to talk about it to a colleague who sits just next to me and he sometimes feels the same way in some extreme cases of constant failures and he also finds it strange and new but there is another person who sits a little farther but he isn't feeling anything like this when he encounters difficulty



EIDT: I realized the fear of failing the whole project seems to play an important role. Since I'm the agile manager in the team, when I face a problem I can't immediately solve, subconsciously I start to tell myself : this is gonna make the whole thing fail. Specially when regressions happen.

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closed as off topic by Thomas Owens, Dan McGrath, Tom Squires, Jon Hopkins, Eric Wilson Nov 2 '11 at 13:05

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Maybe you should see a doctor? I know when I have partial seizures (which aren't always noticeable) I get dizzy and tired afterwards. –  Jetti Nov 2 '11 at 12:34
Maybe you'd get more useful responses on the productivity.stackexchange.com site? –  MatthewMartin Nov 2 '11 at 12:34
@asd Thanks for the hint, didn't know about it. –  ashy_32bit Nov 2 '11 at 12:37
Sounds like you're just being demotivated by the task ahead. I get the same when I'm trial-and-error'ing trough a problem. –  Thomas Stock Nov 2 '11 at 12:37
Consider having to solve problems in pairs. I.e. with another colleague. –  user1249 Nov 2 '11 at 13:17

1 Answer 1

When I encounter tedious tasks or tasks that, in general, I'd rather avoid I have this same sort of reaction. If I switch tasks or even just get up and go for a walk around the office my energy level magically rises.

I believe it to be a bit of a fight or flight reaction, my brain is already on the flight out because I've judged the task to be something unenjoyable. When I get this reaction a few times a week I recognize it, and try to nibble away at the task ... do 10 minutes then switch to something more interesting, until finally the task is done. Sometimes a sweet snack helps ... I used to reach for junk but now I usually reach for an apple or something like that.

When I find myself with this feeling at 8am Monday and it lasts until 5pm Friday, I start looking for another job or new roles within my organization.

If I was getting this feeling after changing jobs then I think that I'd either have to discuss it with a career counsellor (maybe I'm in the wrong industry) or with a doctor (maybe I have a legitimate medical condition).

That's me, you can try some or any of this free advice, and it's worth every penny :) By no means do I assert this to be the only possibility or solution :)

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I think my problem is with the fear of failure, the more I think about it, the more I realize that the "inability to solve this immediately" is linked to "you are gonna fail this project" idea. –  ashy_32bit Nov 2 '11 at 12:56
In that case, replace doctor with therapist and the same advice applies. –  deworde Nov 2 '11 at 13:55

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