It is perfectly OK to only code at work, you can have a life too
There is often pressure inside software development for software developers to code outside of work hours. Coding is considered a passion for some, but others don't think this way. They are more than happy to not code in their spare time. This is OK.
Meetup groups, side-projects, coding quizzes, side-hustles, developing websites for friends and family. Improving your coding skills takes time, effort, discipline, and sacrifice. But is it really necessary? That is for you to decide.
Is it OK to only code at work?
There is no doubt that it is important to set goals. It helps to see where you are going and to have something you are working towards. Being the best coder isn't everyone's goal.
People often feel peer pressure to code outside of hours, to stay competitive, and to be the best. If someone is making you feel this way, you can remind yourself that it is perfectly OK to only code at work. Some people might even argue that doing too much can have diminishing returns...
Many developers follow the Pomodoro Technique, where they are able to sustain long coding sessions and provide a much higher quality of work.
MIT recommends to break between long sessions for maintaining good mental health, taking a break for the brain. Regular breaks can improve your productivity and keep your quality of work up to a high standard.
Most people don't even know where to start to improve their work-life balance. Solution? Try starting with the 4-hour workweek by Tim Ferriss. It contains actionable strategies to hack your schedule and improve your daily flow.
In short, it is perfectly OK to have a life outside of work. Many people hack their schedules according to their own goals and interests, which may or may not include coding. If you think this post could help someone out there, please share it around!
Recommended product: Coding Essentials Guidebook for Developers