Cassidy Williams

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Loving and hating the streak

My GitHub streak right now is like, really good. Today marks 1 full month: I haven’t missed a day of committing since December 27th! Whew! Watch out world! She’s a woman in STEM! She’s a girl who codes! Live, laugh, love!

I’m definitely thinking those unhealthy thoughts of, “dang, if only I committed code on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the day after, so the streak could be even longer.” Who needs family when you have a GitHub streak?! I haven’t really been purposely committing daily, it’s just been one of those times where I have a lot to do at work, and I have the mental energy and motivation to work on some of my side projects as well. And I gotta say, it’s pretty dang fun to see the streak work, but I also feel the unhealthy relationship with it lingering.

I don’t ever want to code just to have the streak. That kind of motivation doesn’t last very long. I feel like this sentiment is anti-”everything you read about in productivity books,” (in Atomic Habits they literally call the people who track the streak “elite performers”). But, I also know myself, and know that if I am motivated by the streak too much, the streak will stress me out and I’ll code and commit less for enjoyment and usefulness, and more purely for the streak, which feels… icky. It’s like when the Duolingo owl haunts me to practice a language and the stress and guilt stops me from actually learning. Only this time, it’s those alluring green squares dancing on the screen.

the streak saying, "love me, Cassidy"

I’m probably overthinking this. I’ll probably lose my streak within 48 hours of writing this and I’ll be like “eh, it was good while it lasted,” and move on. But at this point, I’m… feeling good about the progress I’ve been making on projects, hoping to keep it up for the joy of actually getting code written, and trying very hard to not fall into streak-motivated work.

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