5 Productivity Tips for Developers
Being a software developer sounds like an appealing and exciting job. Sitting in front of a desktop or laptop improving programs and applications for the users’ pleasure could be a lot of people’s dream job. Many don’t realize how difficult this job could be. A developer is many things: a researcher, designer, programmer, scientist. A developer is also an artist in his own way. There are moments when you have everything figured out in your head, but as you write the codes, your mind just blacks out. This is when it gets more difficult to continue or even start again.
As many look at it, developing software is actually an art form. It entails a lot of thinking and imagination that demands focus. It is important to keep the work flow smooth to get a whole load of things done in the least possible time. Here are 5 strategies to make use of your time better:
- Invest in a good computer
Many people say that the beauty and success of a project is in the hands of the developer and not with the hardware used. However, many developers attest that the hardware used does matter. Though this is just an opinion, one thing is true: you need a computer that fits your comfort and work style. Everyone wants a computer that needs less time fixing so you spend more time working.
It depends on the user and the job that has to be done. An updated hardware make it easier to work faster and more productively. There are some software that need a higher processing speed for it to work properly. Also, it is be best to have a RAM big enough for your development needs.
- Get a software that does the job better
A lot of software come for free from theInternet nowadays. There are a whole lot of different programs to choose from. However, it is still best to invest in software. Quality software don’t always come cheap. They will cost you more, but sometimes if you pay for it, it does the job better and more efficiently.
There are also applications that are designed to be more efficient and cater to your needs faster. You need a good text editor to help you construct your ideas with less difficulty. For example, SublimeText is packed with features especially made for designers who love to save time. It allows several changes to be made at one time. If you need extra focus, it has a Distraction Free Mode that shows your work at full screen without the other programs that you don’t need while your hands are full. This program is also constantly being updated by developers so you could never go wrong.
- Find your focus
Sometimes the most difficult part of working is getting started. This is because focus is very hard to find. For most of us, a few seconds of distraction could mean a couple of minutes or hours wasted. If you are the type who easily gets distracted by a lot of random things, then it is time to clean up. Clean up your desktop. Don’t allow your social media accounts to grab your attention while you work. Those beeps from your notifications will tempt you to check them out and could lead you to checking your newsfeed. You don’t need that. Close them all, and if you have to check, open them when you are on break.
Cleaning up your desk could also be helpful. Although many studies claim that Einstein and Zuckerberg had untidy desks that boosted their creativity, there is still a higher chance that your cluttered desk distracts you more than it inspires you. Many studies still show that a tidy desk increases productivity by getting the task done faster than those who have messy desks. Don’t allow your eyes to feast on so many things too much.
- Set your priorities
It’s never easy to finish a whole project overnight. It would help though if tasks are broken down into lists of things to do. Make a list of things you want to accomplish in a work day (or work night) and focus on your day’s goal. The key is doing the most important tasks first. Studies show that you are most productive before noon, so it is much better to do the most difficult tasks on your to do list earlier during the day.
It also saves time to classify similar tasks in batches, including personal things you have to do. Give yourself time limits or little deadlines to follow so you don’t get caught up working on one task for a very long time.
- Allow breaks
We talk about productivity all the time, so you might think that no time must be wasted on rest. Breaks are very important during work time, especially since developers use their minds a lot. Many researches have been made on the importance of rest when it comes to generating productivity. The results show that frequent breaks improve mental agility. Thus, your creative juices could flow better if the mind is rested and not overworked.
One suggested technique in taking breaks that has gained popularity and is used by many employees is the Pomodoro technique. It allows 25 minutes of strict productive time followed by short breaks that last for 5 minutes. After 4 cycles, longer breaks of 15 minutes are allowed, and the cycle repeats. It is a fun way of increasing your productivity immediately.