We are in the era of information explosion. People are tend to have poor concentration and cause low productivity nowadays. As a developer, our main role is to create great product in the least possible time. However, how can we improve and become the best productive self at work / on project? These are my personal experience for improving productivity and I hope it helps you too.
1. Planning before execution
When we are new, we tend to jump straight into execution of tasks without planning. This is one of the most valuable lessons that I have learnt from my senior (shout-out to Jessie) when I first joined the company. Always, always, always plan before you start coding / working on the tasks. We usually find ourselves got stuck in the middle of writing codes, and have to rewrite a huge chunk of codes after realising that the logic of structuring our codes was wrong. We can start with pseudocodes, and that always helps to visualise the overall big picture for the task. Besides, it is easier to amend pseudocodes. After you have sorted out the logic, all that left is to execute and transform them into codes. If you take 80% of your time to plan them carefully, you will only need the remaining 20% to execute.
2. Breakdown tasks and set deadline for each of the task
One of the reasons that leads to procrastination is that we are not sure where to start with when looking at a large task / project, for example building your portfolio website. What we have to do to overcome this is to break down this large task into smaller pieces, and set a firmed deadline to each of them. Take building portfolio website as an example, we can split that into sourcing assets for your website, UI Design & wireframing, transforming the design into UI Components, etc. Meanwhile, UI components can be further broken down into NavBar, Button, Card and so on. By creating the workflow and making a gigantic task into more manageable tasks, we tend not to procrastinate our works.
3. Deep work
Writing codes is a task that requires deep focus. Personally, I have to manage projects and provide technical supports sometimes other than coding. You might get a lot of interruptions, and it takes time to get back to the state of focus. The way that I deal with this is that I switch off all the notifications from email, messages and other apps for 2 hours and just focus on coding. You might be surprised on how much you could achieve by deep focusing for just 2 hours.
Environment of working is an element of boosting productivity as well, especially for those who are working from home. It is important to separate working and relaxing area. My room is the only place I can work + study + rest at home (I am currently renting a room). Therefore, unless I am forced to work at home, I would prefer to go to office so that I have a better environment for work. Besides, keep your mobile phone away, and set an alarm clock to get some rest after working a period of time. You can also play some white noise in the background and that really helps me focusing more on my tasks.
5. If you feel like you cannot focus, go for a short walk
Do not force yourself to sit in front of desk when you are in a state where you cannot focus. There are times where we were just staring at the screen and our brain is just not functioning at all. Go for a walk, meditate or taking a shower might help to reboot your system and get back to work in a better state.
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