Spot-on Productivity Tips for Developers and Programmers

Being a developer can be exhausting and there are times you will find yourself ineffective. Aside from it being stressful, it also requires a lot of attention.

In this blog, you can find Techyworks’ most effective productivity tips for developers and programmers, from finding the best tools to taking regular breaks to effectively eliminate distractions while working. The right knowledge on how you can focus on your work, utilise shortcuts using automation, and deal with distractions can help you improve your productivity in this field.

THE BEST CODE EDITOR CHANGES THE GAME

Developer productivity starts with the right source code editor.

Although there are many good options in the field, it’s kinda challenging to identify which is the best one that will fit your goals and needs. Here are some important things to take into consideration.

If your desired code editor is practical, easy to use, and has a pleasing theme and plugin ecosystem that delivers the functionality you need. It will be useful if you are writing the code from scratch.

If your chosen code editor offers syntax highlighting for the languages you need. Some code editors also come with syntax highlighters not only for programming languages but for in-demand technologies too. A good code editor also has auto-indentation, auto-completion, and brace matching.

If you hook your work to a code designator platform, it lets you do everything without quitting the editor.

If your code editor has extra functionalities. It’s also a good move to pick a code editor that allows you to add or inject your code snippets and/or keyboard shortcuts and supports languages, operating systems or platforms.

BEGIN WITH THE MOST CHALLENGING TASK EVERY DAY

It’s easy to get lost in track and procrastinate — especially if you work as a freelancer and have to address specific deadlines. Therefore, it oftentimes occurs that at the end of your working hours, you realise that you have scarcely completed anything. You can bypass these events if, rather than multitasking, you build a priority level of daily tasks and start with the most complex and essential task every day.

Multitasking can take place when someone tries to perform two tasks simultaneously, others are good at it and can manage everything by doing it, but it turned out that it’s not fit for most individuals. Research has demonstrated that only 2% of the population find multitasking effective, but in some cases, it can also reduce productivity by as much as 40%. So, if you think you are included in that 2% then keep going on with multitasking, otherwise, prioritise your tasks and concentrate only on one thing at the same time.

TAKE BREAKS REGULARLY

People need some rest to be productive and concentrate on a task. You find different studies about the time limit people can focus on a task without their mind wandering off to something else. Like, the study states that 52 consecutive minutes followed by a 17-minute break is the formula for perfect productivity. Then, we have the well-known Pomodoro Technique which uses a tomato-shaped kitchen timer to measure time. It’s a technique to break work into intervals, typically 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.

To summarise, everyone has a different time limit, so you’ll need to experiment a bit to find out what works best for you. If you’re already in the flow, don’t interrupt your work just because the time for the break has arrived.

One thing to keep in mind, the break has to be a REAL break when you do get off your desk. Reading notifications, checking emails, browsing through social media blogs, or just staring at any kind of screen won’t count as a break for your brain.

PLAN YOUR TASKS AHEAD OF TIME

Planning your tasks can effectively increase your productivity. You can either create a to-do list and check off completed tasks. These days, many great options allow you to integrate different productivity tools.

You might also need to apply some experiments and think about what kind of tools you’ll need for effective task scheduling. It can either be one or more apps however, there’s also a risk of using too many tools at the same time. In some cases, too much complexity can even lead to a loss of productivity.

KEEPING TRACK OF YOUR WORKING HOURS

Not everyone likes to track their working hours, putting a time tracking app into use can enormously help a lot if you have some time management problems. Time tracking can increase your productivity mostly because you can see how you spent your time the entire day so that you can eliminate possible distractions. Time trackers are very helpful to freelancers, as they can help you bill your clients effectively and efficiently.

AUTOMATE REPETITIVE TASKS

Automating repetitive tasks is a must with developers. It’s not by co-occurrence that DevOps is all the rage recently, as it’s all about automation. You won’t require much automation in the development phase, however, making your development code prepared for production requires a lot of repetition.

As a front-end developer, you can use a task runner to automatically perform routine tasks on your code, such as minification, auto-prefixing, image optimization, etc. There are many great options for backend programming that are worth checking out.

USE THE COMMAND LINE

Aside from task automation, it’s also a good idea to implement the use of the command line in your everyday workflow. You can significantly speed up your workflow if you use a CLI (Command Line Interface) instead of a GUI (Graphical User Interface. Here’s a tutorial about how to set up the WordPress CLI to speed up WordPress development and maintenance. Next, securely using CLI commands is an essential programming skill that you can use in many other areas of your work.

ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS

Distractions are the biggest enemy of productivity, therefore, you need to find a way to eliminate them as much as possible. Unfortunately, they have a sneaky nature, so it’s not easy at all to catch them. This is because many times, they don’t seem like a distraction at first. Like, checking your email every hour, watching “how-to” videos on YouTube, or chatting with workmates on Slack can be seen as work-related tasks, but if you’re spending too much time on them, you might find that you haven’t done that much by the end of the day.
Thus, you need to be very careful about distractions and take precautions wherever you can. For example, you can check your emails only twice per day if there are no urgent related tasks, etc, switch off messaging notifications while working, or remove distracting websites that you frequently visit during working hours.

CLOSING

If you follow our productivity tips or at least some of them, you can be more efficient during your working hours and improve your development workflow at the same time. Coming out of your comfort zone can be hard at first, but it can quickly become second nature.

Reflect that experimentation is the key thing about productivity. If you try out a technique or a tool that doesn’t work for you, stop it, and consider moving on to the next one, until you find the one that best fits your personality and workflow.

And, if you need someone who can scale up and transform your business, don’t miss out on having a free consultation with Techyworks (https://techyworks.com.au/).