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Blake Campbell
Blake Campbell

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Readme for a Productive 2021

I recently wrote in a #devdiscuss about motivation

Take days off, don't burn out
Have a project you enjoy
Learn on your own
Ask for help if you need it
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I should expand on it quite a bit. For reference, I've been a Remote Developer since 2014. It's lonely and frustrating, staying productive can be tough. These are just my general observations to try to help.

Prep Work, pick a theme (optional)

Start by picking a yearly theme instead of a goal.

For References: Yearly Themes explained by CGP Grey

Example: I want to save $X amount this year, changes to the year of Finance. It's less a pass or fails like specific goals and more of a did you improve.

My theme for 2021 is The Year of Refinement, some things that apply to my theme are less time on social media, more time writing posts, becoming more active. All those things become encapsulated in my theme.

Having a theme to focus on makes it easier to review the progress over the year.

Into the mandatory


If you have a home office, clean it. Those old downloads that have been on your computer for 2 years, remove them. I'm no Marie Kondo, but a neat workspace is a big relief. Begin 2021 on a "clean" slate, you never know what's going to happen.

Does this bring me joy?

Schedule off time

Don't fall into the trap of always busy is always good. Take time off for yourself when you need to. Reduce eye strain and get a hobby away from the computer if you want.

Taking breaks increases productivity: Source

Your Project and learning

Having a project that is uniquely yours is healthy. You get to decide what it is, what you want it to do. Design, code, build. As a developer, not much of a designer it's nice to have tools out there like Tailwind. Learning will always be part of the web, embrace it.

A few years ago I needed to learn AngularJS 1.X, I joke about it now, but it made learning VueJS a few months later easy for a side project. If you have good fundamentals you'll adapt better in the future.

Asking for Help and Feedback

Spinning your wheels and getting frustrated is a spot every developer has been in. Don't be ashamed of it. I've been lucky enough to work with amazing people who will take time and talk through a problem. There are discords/slack channels/StackOverflow and of course DevTo.

You can get feedback, but don't ask without trying first.

Please leave me feedback on how I can improve these posts moving forward.

Up next: Tools and resources for 2021

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