As a developer, staying productive is difficult. It’s a very demanding work that takes a lot of concentration and may rapidly drain the mind. Understanding how to concentrate on your job, use automation to save time, and cope with distractions may go a long way toward maximizing your working hours. From choosing the finest developer tools to taking regular breaks to effectively avoiding distractions while working, you’ll discover our top productivity ideas for developers and programmers in this collection.
1. RESEARCH FOR THE BEST CODE EDITOR
A decent source code editor is the foundation for developer productivity. Although there are many excellent alternatives available, determining which is the best relies entirely on your objectives and requirements. It’s worth experimenting with various code editors to find which one works best for you. Here are several crucial considerations…
What programming languages do you use? You’ll need a code editor with syntax highlighting for the languages you’ll be working with (at least as a plugin). Not just for programming languages, but also for popular technologies like React, several code editors have syntax highlighters.
If the theme and plugin ecosystem for your chosen code editor is suitable and delivers the capabilities you want (for instance, a high contrast theme if you have low vision).
You may find built-in Git capabilities beneficial if you commit your work to a code sharing site like GitHub or Bitbucket. Visual Studio Code, for example, allows you to submit your work to GitHub without leaving the editor.
It’s also a good idea to choose a code editor that allows you to create or import your own code snippets and/or keyboard shortcuts if you wish to utilize them.
2. EACH DAY, BEGIN WITH THE MOST DIFFICULT TASK.
It’s easy to become buried in everyday responsibilities, and developers are notorious for procrastinating-particularly if you work as a freelancer with your own deadlines to meet. As a result, it is common to labor all day only to find at the end of the day that you have done very little. You may prevent this by creating a daily work hierarchy and starting with the most difficult job each day, rather than multitasking.
Although multitasking has long been seen as a beneficial trait, it has now been shown that it is not suited for the majority of individuals. According to research, just 2% of the population is capable of multitasking, while the rest may lose up to 40% of their productivity. So, if you’re part of the 2%, keep multitasking; otherwise, prioritize your work and concentrate on just one item at a time.
3. REGULARLY TAKE BREAK
Humans can’t focus on the same thing for an indefinite period of time, which is particularly true for cerebral tasks like programming. Various research have been conducted on the amount of time individuals can concentrate on an activity without their attention straying to anything else. For example, one research claims that sustained concentration may last 45 minutes, while another claims 52 minutes of continuous focus followed by a 17-minute break.
Then there’s the famed Pomodoro Technique, which measures time using a tomato-shaped kitchen timer. It uses 25-minute blocks of time, with 5-minute short intervals and 10-minute long breaks. The Pomodoro Technique has grown so popular among programmers that there are now Pomodoro applications available to use while working.
Overall, there is no golden rule here, and everyone’s time limit is different, so you’ll have to experiment a little to see what works best for you. It’s also not worth following a rigorous rule: don’t stop your job if you’re already in the zone simply because it’s time for a break.
However, there is one thing to keep in mind. When you do get up from your desk, the break must be genuine. Checking emails, Slack alerts, social media, blogs, or simply looking at any form of device will not provide a mental break – every study on the issue proves this.
4. PLAN YOUR WORK IN ADVANCE.
Planning your work ahead of time might also help you be more productive. To-do applications like Wunderlist and Todoist allow you to build task lists and mark off finished chores, while Trello allows you to set up processes. There are also many wonderful solutions these days, such as Zapier and IFTTT, that enable you to link multiple productivity apps (If This Then That).
When it comes to task scheduling, you’ll need to explore and consider what tools you’ll really need. You may certainly utilize many applications to manage chores, but there is also the danger of employing too many tools at once. Too much intricacy may sometimes result in a loss of productivity.
5. KEEP TRACK OF YOUR WORK HOURS
Although not everyone enjoys recording their working hours, using a time tracking tool may be quite beneficial if you have time management issues. Time monitoring may boost your productivity since it allows you to observe how you spend your time throughout the day and filter out any distractions. If you’re a freelancer, time trackers may save you time by allowing you to charge your customers on an hourly basis.
6. AUTOMATE REPEATABLE WORK
As a developer, automating repetitive processes is a necessary these days. It’s no accident that DevOps (the junction of development and operations) has suddenly been all the rage, since it’s all about automation. In the development phase, you won’t need much automation; nevertheless, getting your development code ready for production requires a lot of repetitive operations.
As a frontend developer, for example, you may use a task runner to do common operations on your code, such as minification, image optimization, and auto-prefixing. We recently published an article on the best build tools for frontend developers, but there are also many excellent solutions for backend development.
7. MAKE USE OF THE COMMAND LINE
Aside from automating chores, it’s also a good idea to include the command line into your daily routine. First, instead of using a GUI, you may drastically speed up your process by using a CLI (Command Line Interface) (Graphical User Interface). For example, here’s a guide on using the WordPress CLI to speed up WordPress development and maintenance. Second, knowing how to execute CLI commands safely is a valuable programming ability that you can use to many other aspects of your job.
8. REDUCE DISTRACTIONS
Because distractions are the number one enemy of productivity, you must discover a strategy to minimize them as much as possible. Unfortunately, because of their stealthy nature, catching them is quite difficult. This is because they often do not seem to be a distraction at first.
Checking your email every hour, viewing a new video instruction on YouTube, or speaking with coworkers on Slack may all be considered work-related duties, but if you spend too much time on them, you might not get much done by the end of the day.
As a result, you must be wary of distractions and take measures wherever possible. You may, for example, elect to check your emails just twice a day, turn off Slack alerts while working, or block distracting websites you visit regularly.
If you follow our productivity recommendations, or at least some of them, you can make better use of your working hours while also improving your development process. Developing a new habit might be difficult at first, but it rapidly becomes second nature.
Remember that the secret to productivity is experimenting. If a strategy or tool doesn’t work for you, abandon it and go on to the next until you discover the one that best suits your workflow and personality.
Also, don’t miss our post on how to pick which programming language to learn if you’re looking for more unique developer and programming advice.