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Use These 5 Techniques to Reach Your Highest Coding Productivity

Wouldn’t you love to be your most productive self?


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Piero Borrelli

a year ago | 3 min read

Wouldn’t you love to be your most productive self?

Wouldn’t you love to be able to always code efficiently, call it a day with a smile on your face, and then proceed to do something else?

Productivity is a topic we all love to talk about; It’s been injected into our culture. Reaching our full potential means reaching our highest productivity. And for us, developers, being efficient is a pretty big thing.

Let’s see how, with a few tricks I’ve discovered and studied over the years, you can double up your productivity and reach a higher potential.

First, Don’t Mess Yourself Up

Feeling productive and efficient is a fantastic feeling. You want to feel the laborious gear of your team, not the weakest link in the chain, but there’s a catch.

“Productivity should never come at the cost of being miserable.”

If you work 80 hours a week, being the most outstanding worker in the office or even in your own company, but you never spend time with your friends and family, then you’re not a genius, but just miserable.

Eight hours a day are enough when used wisely. Actually, most people conclude their work way before when being truly organized. You shouldn’t fall for the hustling gurus you see on Instagram, nor should you fall for the myth of the great developer working till 3 AM.

Honestly, what kind of quality do you think to produce after 8 hours of concentrated work?

Always take advantage of the 2021 new superpower: sleep. If you sleep well, you’re 100 meters ahead of everybody because resting is just so underrated. A few sleep suggestions include:

  • Try to go to sleep at the same time every day, or at least during the week (I love to party on the weekend).
  • Avoid looking at screens 1 hour before going to sleep. They kill your inner body cycle to prepare to sleep. Read a book instead.
  • Possibly try supplements like melatonin.

Silence Everything

I’ve only lately realized how social media can become an addiction. I find it truly hard not to hop on Instagram quickly if I have my phone around me. Plus, being a developer forces me to be in front of a computer eight hours a day, meaning that I can search for everything I have in my mind almost instantly.

When you start your workday, turn off your notifications. Make everything possible to be in a quiet environment, far from every type of distraction.

Usually, I don’t listen to music while coding unless I perform mechanical operations like copy-pasting blocks of code. In case you want some ideas on stuff to listen to, here are a few suggestions:

Make it Shorter

Instead of one monolithic block of eight hours of work, I suggest you prefer shorter bursts of concentration. Between 45 minutes and one hour is the perfect timing for me. After that, take a ten minutes break. Do something that keeps your mind active, like reading a novel or, like in my case, try to solve your Rubik’s cube.
If you need help timing your activities, you can use a tool like the 
Pomodoro timer.

Important Stuff First

I suggest that every day, before starting your day, you make a bucket list of three to five goals you want to accomplish for the day. For example:

  • Complete all pending code reviews ✓
  • Submit my pull request. ✓
  • Check all my unread emails.

To call it a day, you have to know what it means for you to be productive. After completing the first three to five tasks, you can always add one or schedule the next three for the following day if you’re feeling at your top.

Create Rituals

I always notice how there are a few activities that all developers have to go through during the day, and these activities usually keep you away from code, but they’re still very relevant. Some of these include:

  • Checking all your emails
  • Performing code reviews
  • Fixing returns on your pull requests

Since it’s easy for the mind to wander around, I suggest that you create your own rituals of when you’re going to perform each repetitive task every day.

For example, you can decide to do a pull requests review first thing in the morning. Then, you can work on reading all your pending emails, concentrate the middle part of the day on coding, and the latest part on fixing errors.

This approach is advantageous since it will help your mind create positive habits around rituals, and as time passes, you will be able to automatize and perform better tasks.

My Key Takeaway

Being productive is a drug. It’s a great feeling we’ve learned to crave in our modern culture, and we chase this sensation every day.

We, developers, are especially good at craving productivity.

Despite all the goals you can set for yourself every day as being productive is possible, you need the right approach and organization.

With the tricks shown here, you should improve your daily routine and soon see your productivity skyrocket, allowing you to reach a new potential.

— Piero

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