Productivity is a matter of concern, not only for web developers but for any other person who is trying to accomplish a given task. You must have noticed that every time you sit down to accomplish a particular task, you feel an overwhelming desire to leave it and do something else instead. It is a true fact that consciously or unconsciously, we all love distractions.
However, as web developers, you can make some small changes in your daily work routines that are bound to enhance your way of working along with improved outcomes. In order to streamline your workflow in an effective manner as well as to ensure quick and smooth movement of the web development cycle, you can seek help from the below-given tips.
- Understand the Big Picture
- Plan your Day
- Do Research before Writing the Code
- Focus on One Task at a Time
- Have the Right Tools and Plug-ins
This means that instead of putting all your focus on the small and scattered tasks that you are handling, allow your mind to look at the bigger picture from a bird’s eye view. Although smaller tasks will keep you engaged, they might even be responsible for your loss of focus. On the other hand, trying to understand the bigger benefits that are waiting to happen will keep your motivation levels high.
Instead, of jumping in to accomplish the task that comes to your notice first, it really helps to plan your day in advance. Prioritize the various tasks that you need to complete within a given day and start with the one which ranks high on this priority list. Work in 60-9- minute intervals with enough breaks in between so that your mind gets time to relax. Also, be very strict about distractions. If the need arises, work with your room closed and all your electronic gadgets put on a silent mode.
Instead of directly sitting down to create a code, it always helps to conduct some research first. You may come across an umpteen number of open source libraries but each one of them may not be what you are looking for. You can seek help from a web development framework which will force you into adopting some of the best coding practices. In addition to this, you can have a directory/folder of source codes, which you often use, in a place that is easily retrievable.
Although most of us have developed a habit of switching from one task to another at lightning speed and doing everything all at once, this actually contributes to a serious loss in productivity. Instead, focus on completing one thing at a time and you will find that you are able to accomplish much more during a day as compared to when you were multi-tasking.
If you are a web developer, you will require a lot of software tools and web development apps which will help you in accomplishing your tasks. Hence, it is important to have a complete set of the right tools handy along with sound knowledge on how to use them effectively. Instead, of collecting every kind of tool that you come across, focus on collecting the ones which you can use comfortably. Some of the useful plugins are listed here
- Do you use eclipse? Check out these Powerful Eclipse Plugins
- Do you use maven? Check out these Awesome Maven Productivity Plugins
- Do you use an android mobile or tablet? Check out these Useful Android Apps
Web development is all about creating and re-creating. There is nothing to be ashamed of if you cannot get a code right in the very first go. In fact, it is more productive to keep on improving your code continuously till the time you have perfected it. But, you must know where to stop.
The tasks that are monotonous and keep repeating themselves after regular intervals of time should be automated. Integrating such continuously repeating tasks and automating them will help you save a lot of time and other resources in the long run.
Productivity is found to breed in an environment that stands on the foundations of mutual trust and respect. Within a professional setting, no matter how important an assignment you are handling or how good a web developer you are, it never hurts to be respectful towards the people who work along with you. Always remember, web development goes hand in hand with testing and quality analysis, so you are not alone in the game.
Avoid working at a stretch. Instead, take frequent breaks between work intervals like have a snack, go for a walk or do something that is not related to your work. This will help you relax and freshen up your brain so that you can get back to work with renewed vitality.
The most geek have difficulty saying “NO”? Let’s accept the fact that we cannot solve world hunger. As a productive software programmer, you need to know when you should start refusing additional task assignments. This can be a tricky thing since many bosses do not like to hear this two letter word “NO”. Saying NO the right way is difficult, and it will take some time for you to be an expert at it. I have found these 7 tips for saying NO very useful.
Maintain a certain discipline as far as meetings are concerned. Accept the invitation to a meeting only if it is related to the priority task that you are handling or else if you are free of any other obligations to do so. Also, restrict the time of meetings so that all the participants stay focused, and do not while away time in unproductive chit chat.
Although, meetings are important in order to discuss the progress or issues pertaining to a particular task, more often than not, participants tend to deviate from the actual agenda. So, in order to add value to yourself as well as the entire team, make sure that the focus of the meeting isn’t lost.
Developers are busy and require to have the best tool for the job. Most of the developer tools are freely available however you need to pick the right tool for the job. The experienced developer knows the best tool for any task and stays highly productive by keeping them up to date. Some useful tools are listed down
- Use Best task management softwares to manage everyday tasks efficiently.
- Use appropriate text editor for the quick programming and other jobs.
- Use the best web design tools to stay productive.
- Take notes in meetings to get best out of the meeting – you can use online note taking apps
Finally, make every possible effort to disconnect your professional and personal lives. No matter how hard a day you had at work, simply forget about it once you reach home. This will help your mind to relax completely by focusing on things other than work.
Continuous learning is one of the key factors to remain creative and productive at your job. Most developers learn a lot from experiments and quick browsing example code, however, in-depth learning requires dedicated efforts and a variety of sources for learning. Some of the key things developers can do to stay productive are:
- Read Some Good books – check out our list of most influential books for software developers.
- Spend time attending in-person training and online webcasts.
- Stay connected with related technology news, blogs and feeds.
It is not a strict rule of the thumb that you will become productive by following all the above-given tips. This is because each one of you is different and hence, things that work for you too tend to be unique. However, in a nutshell, these are some of the basic changes that you can make in your day to day lives to achieve better work satisfaction by performing more than what you have been doing till now.
Always remember, achieving high levels of productivity is all about paying equal attention to the bigger picture as well as the daily tools and tricks. Balancing your efforts between these two will put you on your way to a more productive life.
Are there other productivity rules you’ve found particularly useful?