Productivity Tips For Developers & Programmers
It’s not easy to stay productive as a developer. It’s a mentally stressful job that can quickly exhaust the mind and also requires a lot of attention. Understanding how you can focus on your work, take shortcuts using automation, and deal with distractions can help you a lot in making the most out of your working hours. In this collection, you can find the best productivity tips for developers and programmers, from finding the best developer tools to taking regular breaks to successfully eliminating distractions while working.
1. Find The Best Code Editor
Developer productivity starts with a good source code editor. Although there are many great options in the market, it’s hard to tell which is the best one — it all depends on your goals and needs. It’s worth trying out different code editors to see which one fits best with your workflow. Here are some important things to take into consideration…
- Which programming language(s) you are using. You need a code editor that offers syntax highlighting for the languages you need (at least as a plugin).
- If you commit your work to a code-sharing platform, such as GitHub, you might find built-in Git functionality useful. For instance, Visual Studio Code lets you directly commit your work to GitHub without leaving the editor.
- If you want to use your own code snippets and/or keyboard shortcuts, it’s also a good idea to pick a code editor that lets you add or import them.
2. Start With The Most Difficult Task Everyday
It’s easy to get lost in daily tasks and procrastination is also a common habit of developers — especially, if you work as a freelancer and have to manage your own deadlines. Therefore, it frequently happens that you work all day and by the end of the day, you realize that you have barely accomplished anything. You can avoid that if, rather than multitasking, you create a hierarchy of daily tasks and start with the most difficult task every day.
3. Take Breaks Regularly
Humans can’t concentrate on the same thing for unlimited time and this is especially true of hard mental work such as programming. You can find different studies about the time limit people can focus on a task without their mind wandering off to something else.
4. Schedule Your Tasks In Advance
Scheduling your tasks in advance can also significantly increase your productivity. You can either create task lists and check off completed tasks using to-do apps such as Todoist, or set up workflows with an app such as Trello.
With task scheduling, you’ll also need to conduct some experiments and think about what kind of tools you’ll really need. You can use more than one apps for managing tasks for sure, however, there’s also a risk of using too many tools at the same time. In some cases, too much complexity can even lead to a loss of productivity.
5. Track Your Working Hours
Although not everyone likes to track their working hours but putting a time tracking app into use can help a lot if you have problems with time management. Time tracking can increase your productivity mostly because you can see how you spent your time during the day so that you can screen out possible distractions. Time trackers can also be a good point if you are a freelancer, as they help you bill your clients on an hourly basis.
6. Automate Repetitive Tasks
Automating repetitive tasks is a must these days as a developer. It’s not a coincidence that DevOps (the intersection of Development and Operations) is all the rage recently, as it’s all about automation. You won’t need much automation in the development phase, however, making your development code ready for production does involve a lot of repetitive tasks.
7. Eliminate Distractions
Distractions are the biggest enemy of productivity, so you need to find a way to eliminate them as much as possible. Unfortunately, they have a sneaky nature, so it’s not easy at all to catch them. This is mainly because many times, they don’t seem like a distraction first.
For instance, checking your email every hour, watching a new video tutorial on YouTube, or chatting with colleagues on Whatsapp can be seen as work-related tasks, but if you are spending too much time on them, you might find that you haven’t accomplished that much by the end of the day.
So, you need to be very careful about distractions and take precautions wherever you can. For example, you can decide to check your emails only twice a day, switch off Whatsapp notifications while working, or block distracting websites that you frequently visit during work.
If you follow our productivity tips or at least some of them, you can use your working hours more efficiently and also improve your development workflow at the same time. Although picking up a new habit can be hard at first, it quickly becomes second nature.
Remember that experimentation is the key thing about productivity. If you try out a technique or tool that doesn’t work for you, ditch it, and move on to the next one, until you find the one that best fits with your workflow and personality.