Not just developers but every professional struggles with daily productivity at work as humans have limited willpower, and it is scientifically impossible to remain productive all day.
But because work must be done, code written, and projects delivered. So, how do you stimulate your developer productivity?
That’s what we are going to explore in this article. If you are a junior developer, you are at a stage where you need to discover what works best for you and discover productivity hacks that will serve you well for the rest of your career. Even if you are an experienced programmer, it is not too late to nurture new habits.
Here are the top four productivity hacks for software developers to stay focused and optimize their daily productivity.
1. Create a well-aware development environment
The more aware of the weapons in your arsenal, the easier it will be to kill the enemy. To be clear, the enemy is the distractions that break your workflow. To remain productive, you must take minimal detours to research a library or a tool to use in the project.
Familiarize yourself with the development environment you work in and the tools you use. You must know the editor you write code on like the back of your hand. Know all shortcuts – the quickest way to search a function, the fastest method to refactor, the best way to autocomplete code, etc.
Furthermore, learn all the libraries available in your chosen language(s). The best way to learn about libraries is to write an example for each, so you know how and when to use one. The more you experiment with a library, the more equipped you will be to use it when the opportunity strikes.
2. Divide, prioritize, then conquer
You have limited hours to put at work. You cannot accommodate each feature, fix every bug, or design the whole interface in a single day. It is where you need to use your time management skills to prioritize tasks.
Break chunks into smaller attainable tasks. It will psychologically affect your mood as your morale will be uplifted with each accomplishment, and your productivity will be high. On the contrary, if you try to do everything at once, you will achieve nothing, and as the hours pass, pressure will increase, and productivity will decline.
To accomplish tasks, make a list and prioritize. Be realistic about how much work you can get done within a day. Plan and work accordingly, but don’t miss to reflect upon what you accomplish each day. Even after a few failed attempts at the beginning, you will see productivity building up consistently over time.
3. The secret lies in regular short breaks
There are enough studies to support that taking breaks between work leads to higher productivity. Scheduling breaks within your coding sessions can help you focus, improve creativity, reduce stress, and optimize your overall well-being.
One technique that developers can use is the Pomodoro Technique. It is a straightforward technique for time management that programmers use. In the Pomodoro technique, you break down your work intervals into 25-minute sessions followed by 5-minute breaks.
After every four 25-minute work sessions, you take an extended break of 20 to 30 minutes. It is a technique that has been working for the developer community for decades and will also work for you. Use your breaks to relax your eyes, stretch your body, walk around, or chat with friends and colleagues. Then when you return to work, you will be mentally and physically refreshed, ready to focus more on the task.
4. Keep learning
It might not appear to be one of the best productivity hacks; however, constantly updating your skills will make you more productive. As you expand your knowledge and gain more experience, you become a programmer who solves problems faster and more efficiently. You inevitably learn how to be more productive and what methods and practices serve you best.
Investing in yourself and exploring new tools to speed up the workflow is essential. An excellent way for professional growth is to take up hobby projects or participate in open source projects. You can tackle challenges faster and be more productive as you learn new tricks.
Developer productivity hacks that we have listed above will take time to implement. Developing a healthy productivity plan is a task in itself that requires commitment, resilience, patience, and most importantly, consistency. As you keep on the path and practice these hacks daily, you will experience a significant difference in your productivity.
Don’t forget that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to productivity management. Some tricks might work for you, some might not. It is on you to keep exploring, upskilling, and learning what works best for you.
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