by Katerina Bogdanoska
Developing a high-quality code while staying productive can be quite challenging. Here are some valuable tips that can help you boost your productivity without compromising on work-life balance.
Completing tasks quickly and efficiently without sacrificing quality is what it means to be productive. Being productive is an essential aspect of any industry or area of expertise. Still, it can be a real game-changer in a complex and tech-centric industry like software development. A developer’s job is one of the most complicated and mentally demanding professions, and staying productive is not an easy task. They work with complex algorithms and juggle multiple tasks. Adopting a healthy work ethic and habits and making minor adjustments will lead to lasting changes and increase their productivity.
This article shares some handy productivity tips to help developers enhance their efficiency while boosting productivity levels.
1. Put a schedule in your flexible schedule
Flexible working hours or work from home can be incredible, but it comes with its own set of challenges. It can be difficult to focus, especially if other family members or distractions are present during your working hours. To stay organized, you need to set some rules and have a productivity plan that will allow you to get the best out of your day. Scheduling daily tasks will measure your progress and manage your time effectively. The best results always come with proper planning.
Find your most productive hours and decide when to start and finish your workday. Be consistent. Set realistic goals and prioritize your most critical task first thing in the morning (or whenever you start your workday), when your energy and willpower are at their highest.
Take planned breaks away from the screen. They are essential to your productivity and well-being and boost your creativity and motivation. Analyze your workspace and make adjustments to help you work better and quicker. Finally, don’t forget the good old eating and sleeping right, staying physically active, and making time to socialize.
All these habits will help you maintain a healthy work-life balance and allow you to have more time for personal activities.
2. Keep away distractions and stop wasting time
A focused developer is a productive developer.
Another way to describe productivity is getting complex tasks done with minimal distractions or interruptions. Developing software is a demanding job, and it’s not easy to maintain focus and concentration when there are so many distractions around you. Every distraction affects the quality of your work and can result in a mistake.
It takes only a few seconds to get out of the flow, but you will need over 23 minutes on average to get back on task after an interruption and into the flow again. Moreover, a Georgia Institute of Technology study states that a software developer will need between 10-15 minutes to recover from distractions and resume work. That is why learning to deal with distraction and decide what is essential and non-essential is a must for every developer.
Your typical distractions could be answering emails, browsing through social media, phone calls, being in a busy work office, etc. It may not be easy to let go, but think of all the time you can save.
Some of the ways to help you cope with interruptions include:
- Put your phone in silent mode during working hours
- Turn off social media notifications
- Turn off email alerts
- Create an auto-response to text messages
- Learn to say NO
- Don’t multitask. Focus on one task at a time
- Set a social media blocker on your computer browser
- Have specified times for answering emails, messages
These changes will not only increase your productivity but will also prevent you from getting mentally exhausted.
3. Use the right platforms and tools
Team collaboration tools, project management, time tracking, automation, or tools that help you avoid distractions. Developers can use various tools and platforms to speed up their work and maximize productivity and efficiency. Here are some that you can check out:
- Distraction canceling software tools: Escape, Cold Turkey, Dewo, or Freedom.
- Bug tracking tools: BackLog and MantisBT
- Code searching tools such as The Silver Searcher
- Time tracking tools like Hubstaff or Jibble
- Project management tools like Monday.com, Trello, Jira, Asana, Wrike
- Team collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams, Slack, Trello, ClickUp
- Code management tools: GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket
Additionally, you can try Habitica, a habit-building and productivity app that allows you to treat your work or tasks as a role-playing game, and ZType, a game that helps you practice your typing speed and accuracy. Finally, you can relax with some music and visit the website musicforProgramming intended for listening to ambient music while programming.
This is only a fraction of the productivity options available. Do your research and choose based on your individual needs and preferences.
4. Take breaks and get some rest
Studies have shown that taking breaks and brief rests throughout the day leads to higher productivity, job satisfaction and improves your overall well-being. It can also:
- Boost creativity
- Help you focus
- Improve mental health
- Process and retain information better
- Reduce stress
The Pomodoro Technique is a straightforward way to remind yourself to take regular breaks. This technique, popular among the developer community, is a time management method that breaks down your work at intervals – 25 minutes sessions, followed by short 5-minute breaks. Every four 25-minute sessions take a more extended 20-30 minutes’ break. Will it work for you? Go ahead and try.
So, go on, give your eyes a break from the screen. Stand up, stretch, get some water, walk around, and chat with your friends or colleagues. When you return to your work mentally and physically refreshed, you can stay focused on your task and do better work.
5. Automate repetitive tasks
Another excellent productivity hack is to take full advantage of automation. Automating time-consuming and monotonous tasks will save you hours of coding and will simplify your job in a way that significantly improves productivity.
6. Keep learning
If you want to stay productive, you must constantly update your skills. As you gain more experience and expand your knowledge, you become a better problem solver, faster and more efficient. Plus, you learn how to be more productive and what methods and practices are best for you.
Invest in yourself and your knowledge. Explore new tools that will help ease and speed up your workflow.
An excellent way for professional growth is to work on hobby projects or participate in the development of open-source projects. You will learn many new tricks, keep your mind fresh and grow as a programmer. Listen to podcasts or audiobooks while exercising, commuting, cooking, or cleaning. Read books and blogs, complete courses, or talk to mentors. There are more than enough options available to keep up to date in the fast-moving world of programming and development.
7. Final thoughts
Implementing the strategies above will take time. Developing a healthy productivity plan is a long process that requires consistency, resilience, commitment, and patience. Once it becomes your habit, you will see a significant difference.
But there is no one-size-fits-all approach to time management and productivity. Everyone has a unique personality and working style. What works for one developer could be a total failure for another. Hopefully, this article will spur you to find an approach that works the best for you and will help you boost your productivity and efficiency. The benefits are manifold – being qualified for new job opportunities, higher pay for delivering quality work with less effort, better work-life balance, and internal satisfaction.