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4 simple tricks to beat procrastination as a developer 1

4 simple tricks to beat procrastination as a developer

Procrastination is a habit that turns even the best developers into average employees. In simple terminology, procrastination is when you favor a pleasurable task over an unpleasant but necessary one. Studies have shown that over 80% of college students procrastinate, 50% of them do it frequently and consistently. This habit gets carried over into their professional life. Being a developer is tricky as you must keep learning new technologies and practicing coding continuously. If you find yourself procrastinating vocationally and struggling to complete the project tasks on time, this solution might be simpler than you think.

We have compiled a list of simple developer tricks to help you be most productive throughout the day and avoid procrastination easily.

1. Plan your tasks ahead 

You start your day by planning what needs to be done. When you are mindful of what tasks could be accomplished within a given time, you are more likely to focus on things at priority. As a developer, you will have a backlog every morning from the previous day or the previous week. If you try to accomplish all the tasks within a single day, you will have wasted your day without accomplishing anything.

This is why you should plan daily what to do in an agile environment. Start with the tasks that can be completed quickly. It will build up your confidence and motivate you to accomplish other jobs on the list. Here is an example of a to-do list:

  1. Complete the cart function code
  2. Review the bug report
  3. Follow up with team leader
  4. Respond to code review

A list like this gives you a rough idea of your daily plan and helps to remove the cognitive load from your head.

2. Use the five-minute rule

Many people use the five-minute rule to deal with procrastination daily. It is a cognitive behavioral therapy technique that involves setting up a five minute time limit on a task you have to do. You work on it for the first five minutes, and if it gets unbearable, you quit or keep going. It might seem like a simple practice to avoid procrastination, but it is known to be effective. Hence, once a developer creates a project and plans through the day, completing tasks without procrastination becomes less overwhelming and more doable.

It is just one of the time management techniques, but there are many more. You can explore one of these time management courses to become more productive in your daily life. The goal is to start with the task at hand without being stressed or uneasy.

3. Change the environment 

Different environments have different impacts on your productivity. If your desk is cluttered with items that distract you, then it’s high time you make a change. Developers should focus on the monitor, keyboard, and nothing else when writing code. Among the essential developer tips is optimizing your workplace for productivity.

Developers should create an environment that makes them feel inspired. It can be anything from using your favorite tools for writing code to using the best hardware for optimum performance. For example, some people have problems  while working in public places because of constant movement and noise. If you face similar challenges, try to find a quiet spot to focus on your code.

You will likely procrastinate unless you can remove every possible distraction from your work environment, whether physical or digital. For instance, put your iPhone in do not disturb mode, and put it in the drawer. This will encourage you to crush the urge to keep checking your phone constantly.

4. Be kind to yourself

A common mistake most developers make is overcomplicating the to-do list with tasks they are most likely unable to complete. In doing so, they are setting themselves up for disappointment through a vicious cycle of self-doubt, guilt, and disappointment. You must learn to forgive yourself. If you often find that you label yourself as a procrastinator, drop the habit; it’s not going to help. Do not get stuck up on past experiences, and focus on doing 5% more towards achieving your goals every day. Cut yourself some slack and allow some flexibility to complete tasks without procrastinating.


Ultimately, every developer faces procrastination at some point in their career. The only way to avoid procrastination is to take proactive action. We hope the developer tricks shared here will help you strategize, plan and execute the game plan to avoid procrastination at work. Remember that it is hard to create something great while struggling with procrastination. This is why you must get a grip on time management skills.

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Zaiba Fathima

Zaiba Fathima

Zaiba is Talent500's Product business analyst. Her degree in Computer Science helps her decipher the requirements of the product-engineering team, and understand both sides of the picture. Central to product development and delivery, Zaiba aspires to become a product manager at a young age and a director of the product team at rapid speed.

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