re: Productivity Hacks VIEW POST

FULL DISCUSSION
 

Everyone is different, so what works for me may or may not work for you. But since I started working on my current project I've been experimenting with a new way of increasing productivity by being conscious of flow state and its conditions and it's working quite well for me.

  • Optimize for being in flow state as often as possible and for as long as possible. I aim for at least two long periods per day (morning, afternoon). It doesn't always work, but it's a good goal. Making it happen isn't easy, here's how I made it work for me:
    • plan coding tasks ahead of time so you can spend a long time just cranking code.
    • use technologies that you're already familiar with, or that have good documentation so it's easy to learn without major interruptions
    • get fast feedback: invest on good tests and avoid slow builds. Don't tolerate flaky tests!
    • avoid meetings like the plague! In my experience, a meeting will basically disrupt a whole period of work (say, a meeting at 10am will destroy my productivity from 8am to 12am!)
    • find a distraction-free work environment. I like to work from home when kids aren't around, or from a coffee shop or a public library. Some level of background noise actually helps concentration. Same for music.
  • Use a desktop app to track your productivity, how much time you spent doing work or slacking off. Having a report of how much "productive" time I spent on a week works great for my own personal accountability. I use timingapp.com but I'm sure there are others.
  • Make it harder to keep bad habits:
    • Remove social apps from mobile phone
    • Block twitter.com, etc on the laptop's /etc/hosts.

Things that don't work for me:

  • I don't use pomodoro techniques, personally. It goes against the goal of being in flow for a long time. I like to work with full-concentration, in the zone, uninterrupted for long hours and just forget about the world around me.
  • our team avoids slack, telegram. We have an arrangement to avoid distracting each other (because it interrupts the flow), so we prefer asynchronous forms of communication (e.g: Trello).

I hope this list is useful for someone out there!

 

WOW, thank you Yves, for such great detail and introducing some alternative concepts. Things that I can try in the coming weeks.

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