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Jul 4, 2023 • 2 min read

Tips and tricks to stay productive during a hackathon

Hackathons are intensive, collaborative events where participants come together to develop innovative projects in a short period of time. These coding marathons require a high level of productivity and focus. However, maintaining productivity during a hackathon can be challenging due to long working hours, stress and pressure to meet deadlines. In this article, we give you ten effective tricks so that performance does not decline throughout the event.


Why does productivity drop in a hackathon?

During a hackathon, participants are subjected to intense pressure and face significant challenges that require a high level of performance and concentration. On a scientific level, this activates a series of responses in the body and brain. Especially after the first hours of euphoria.

  • Physical and mental fatigue: Accumulated tiredness can affect concentration, mental clarity, and the ability to make effective decisions, which in turn tends to decrease productivity.
  • Emotional exhaustion: Prolonged stress can lead to anxiety, irritability, and lack of motivation, making it difficult to maintain an optimal level of productivity during a hackathon.
  • Lack of focus: After an extended period of intense work, hackathon participants may experience difficulty maintaining focus.
  • Resource depletion: As the event progresses, cognitive resources may be depleted, diminishing the ability to find innovative and efficient solutions.
  • Stress and cumulative pressure: Although some level of stress can be beneficial for performance, excessive and constant pressure can have a negative impact on productivity. The accumulation of stress can increase anxiety levels and affect decision-making, creativity, and problem-solving.
  • Impaired communication and prayer collab: As the hackathon progress and pressure builds up, communication and collaboration within the team can be affected. This tends to slow down progress and affect overall productivity.


The right balance between challenge and individual ability is essential to achieve optimal performance and maintain mental and physical health during the hackathon. Here are 8 tips to keep you productive in a hackathon without taking a toll on participants.


8 tricks to stay productive during a hackathon.

These are our ten-star tips to keep the team productive in a hackathon. You will see that some have to do with organizational aspects and many others with self-care. Both aspects are crucial.

Tricks related to the organization.

  1. Organize your workspace: A hackathon is an event that lasts for many hours. Maintaining an orderly space helps keep the brain in order. Therefore, keep your workspace tidy and free of distractions. Have everything you need at your fingertips and use organizational tools such as sticky notes or task management application to keep track of your to-dos.
  2. Plan and set clear goals: Before you begin, define your goals, and establish an action plan. Break the project down into smaller tasks and set deadlines for each. This will help you stay focused and have a clear view of progress. It’s easier to reach the finish line when you know what it is.
  3. Set priorities: Identify the most important and urgent tasks and focus on them. Avoid scattering yourself in secondary tasks that may divert your attention from the main objectives. And have on hand complementary activities that serve to clear the brain.

Self-care tricks

  1. Take regular breaks: Although it may seem counterintuitive, taking breaks on a regular basis is crucial to maintaining long-term productivity. Schedule short breaks to stretch, relax and recharge. This will help you stay focused and avoid burnout. If you schedule team building activities to do them in these breaks, they will be doubly effective. Gamification is also a good idea.
  2. Eat properly: During a hackathon, it’s easy to fall into unhealthy eating habits. However, a good diet is essential to maintain energy and mental clarity. Choose nutritious foods and avoid too much caffeine and sugar, as they can cause energy spikes followed by downturns. And those dips can kill productivity during a hackathon.
  3. Keep a positive mindset: The hackathon can be challenging and demanding, but maintaining a positive attitude is essential. Keep motivation high, celebrate achievements and learn from obstacles. A positive mindset will help you overcome difficulties and always maintain productivity during the hackathon.
  4. Communicate effectively: Clear and effective communication within the team is crucial to maintaining productivity. Establish open communication channels, share updates regularly, and seek to resolve any issues or misunderstandings quickly and constructively.
  5. Leverage team strengths: Each team member has unique skills and strengths. Take advantage of this by assigning tasks based on individual capabilities. Thus, each team member will work on what they do best, increasing the efficiency and quality of work.


Staying productive during a hackathon can be challenging, but with the right tricks, it’s possible to stay focused, motivated, and efficient. Planning, organizing, proper rest, effective communication, and working or teamwork are just some of the strategies that can help you stay productive throughout the event. Remember that success in a hackathon is not only about creating an innovative project, but also about enjoying the process and learning from the experience. And, if you need help organizing one, count on your Innovation partner: Ideafoster.

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