As we know, being in software development takes a high amount of technical skill. What's often left out of the conversation is the amount of self-discipline and focus needed to stay productive. Before getting into tech, I had no idea how I would be able to remain sharp and focused through my studies and future 9-to-5. I could only imagine sitting in a non-ergonomic position while switching stares between three screens for eight hours a day. I realized I was intentionally intimidating myself and unfairly stereotyping a great profession.
Methods of productivity and focus look different on everyone. While one person may thrive off of sitting in a breakout room with no sound and no distraction, others may find that environment uninspiring, intimidating or even dreadful. To accompany my new career path, i've adopted a system of small habits that work together to offer a solid focus and productivity experience. It consists of:
Alternating periods of darkness and light
Quite often, I work in the dark with the blinds down. After a few hours, I'll migrate to my front lawn and continue my laptop work while sitting criss-cross on a blanket. Having a drastic change in stimulation is both invigorating and calming.
Depending on my mood, I'll write some quick thoughts in my notebook, or press random keyboard keys until my mind gets back on track.
Lofi hip hop
I love that lofi is chill enough to not startle while also being a good speed for an optimal working rhythm. Freecodecamp has my favorite lofi channel. It is a 24 hour livestream, and its animated artwork features a Black Queen in tech whom I enjoy putting on my second screen when not in use!
My Goldendoodle, Georgie, accompanies me on most work and study days. She's 100% responsible for a few of my favorite projects. She's the perfect brain break and the best rubber ducky I could ever ask for!
If the above methods are not working, it's a good sign that a brain break could be beneficial. While it may sound counterproductive, coming back with a fresh mind and eyes can do wonders for moments when focus feels low.
While these may not work for everyone, my methods meet my needs. I find when using the methods discussed above, time goes by quicker, my brainstorming processes are smoother, and my work output is more efficient.
I'd love to hear how others approach productivity and focus!
Dev Community, what gets you focused? What environment produces the best work for you? Anything out of the ordinary?