Being a developer and working for IT giants or numerous projects isn’t easy. Currently, there’s a demand for productive programmers/developers. Developers nowadays are needed to code faster without compromising on its effectiveness. Time is money & a developer needs to meet the allotted timeline/deadline. Hence, efficiency is critical here, and the developer can only achieve it if he is keeping a tab of his productivity quotient.
LOC or Line of Code is the way for measuring a developer’s productivity & quality. However, it is tough to calculate. So, LOC is mostly about approximations.
Do you think you are productive? Frankly, No! We are humans & we tend to leak productive time. Only a fraction are consistent in their work. So how do they do it? How can someone attain to be a productive developer? Well, here are a few essential tips. But First,
What is productivity? Why does it matter?
Productivity means effectivity. How much output can a person flush out by investing his efforts is productivity. Scientifically speaking, productivity is the rate of output per unit of input. Productivity determines a person’s work rate. Developers are paid to produce invaluable programs under a stipulated parameter & if he/she fails, it is termed as unproductive.
Now, productivity differs from person to person. Few might focus on the quality of code or minimum length of code or feedback from the end user.
Software or program needs to be correct & complete. No one will appreciate buggy codes. So if you aren’t productive, you are more likely to degrade your reputation as a developer in the long run. However, the consistency of a few hours a day can help increase productivity rather than the continuous working for several days.
1. Be Less Random:
Consistency & patience is everything! Setting a flexible schedule is vital to success. Everyone has a different working environment & freedom in their work. Be less random means to establish a scheduled time table & try to waste less amount of time. Divide your work into daily task & accomplish them. Suppose you have to complete a project in 10 days. People get lazy thinking ten days is a long duration. Ultimately, we end up spending the last two days on the program. Thus leading to a chaotic and rushed up process.
Then we end up getting glitches or bugs in the program. So what should you do? You should be less random in your work. Plan your next day, divide your project into a daily task, and avoid being lazy.
You have got ten days on a project. Divide it into eight days task. In this way, you will complete a daily task which will give you inner satisfaction. On the 8th day, the program will be ready. The remaining two days are for troubleshooting the errors.
2. Stop Wasting Time:
It is a significant factor responsible for reducing productivity. Nowadays, we are surrounded by a lot of things, social media, YouTube, news, etc. It’s normal to get distracted. But this hindrance in focus damages overall productivity. To eliminate this, you need first to identify your distractions. Usually, distractions are social media, games, notification, or phone calls.
So, Turn off notifications & keep your phone at silent or vibrate. Switching off the phone is also advisable, but you may miss out on important calls. However, it depends on person to person. As you have divided your work into a few days, you have to work for specific hours consistently and without any stoppages.
Work for 30 to 45 minutes, take a break of 5-10 minutes, stretch, walk, and move away from your workplace. Get back for another 30 to 45 minutes, 5 -10 minutes break, continue till you reach your daily goal. Once your task is done, Enjoy. Reward yourself. Tell your mind- “If I complete my task in __ time, then I can do my favourite thing.” A little greed keeps you motivated. If you still find yourself procrastinating, use apps or extensions which will block those particular websites or apps for the specified time. A lot of people use such apps or extensions.
In a few days, you will notice, you have completed your task & enjoyed it too.
We have 24 hours a day, 6 to 8 hours of sleep, and we are left with around 16 hours. Out of these 16 hours, if we invest 2-3 hours daily on our work, we have got 13 hours remaining. Meanwhile, if we waste time, we will end up spending a day or two on 1 task.
3. A Well Planned Project Structure:
Planning is crucial before starting on a project. As soon as you get a project with a deadline, plan out your strategy. Be strict & honest about it. Meanwhile, you may follow the workflow of the company if it is provided. Every project is different, so create different strategy/plans for each. Fragment your work into tasks.
Suppose you are playing a game. There’s an event in the game which has 6 phases & each has a different reward. Surely, you will pass the stages in a few days because of that reward. Same applies to our work. Divide your work into phases each with an award. Complete & earn the prize! So work smart & try to minimize workload by automating certain parts of the workflow. That’s all!
4. Use Project Management Tools
Finding a suitable management tool for your work can increase productivity. Management tools are often used to organize your job correctly. There are different types of tools which are browser-based, mobile application based, offline software, etc. However, browsers based tool are slightly better the others as they notify with pops or sound during your work. Also, don’t trust your memory as they will often fail you.
Never use management or client emails for a project management system. A lot of new people use emails as their project manager. It’s better to find a specific tool for your work. Using them can reduce errors & reach the completion of the project faster. Such projects are less likely to be sent for revision.
Writers can use Grammarly or ProWriting to detect their grammatical mistakes. Such tools need a subscription, but they are worth it. Usage of tools gives you an upper hand & error free content. So do some research & find the best tool for you.
5. Code Faster
Projects are usually lengthy programs which require analytical thinking as well as speed. A developer should be a fast typist with knowledge of keyboard shortcuts. Memorizing keyboard shortcuts or sticking short cut notes in front at your eye level, make things easy for the long run.
A developer can also opt for Bug tracker, browser extensions, testing frameworks to ensure quality output. Error-free work is always appreciated! Faster your speed of coding, the lesser time you take to complete it. Therefore, it increases productivity!
6. Don’t Work Too Long & Take Breaks
There’s a difference between working consistently & continuously. Consistently means doing an amount of work done every single day. However, continuously means no focus on quality, just continuous investment of time to finish the task.
Suppose you go to the gym, do your weight training exercises for an hour every day. Meanwhile, there’s a guy who is investing over hours in the gym and doesn’t rest. It doesn’t mean he will grow a body better than you. The muscles need rest and time to build.
Same applies in programming. If you are continuously coding, your brain gets fatigued, and you lose focus. Sooner or later, you feel burned out. So, the solution is to take short breaks in between your work. Do not sit continuously coding; take a break of 5-10 min. Make things interesting by doing recreational activities for 5-10 minutes. Even while solving mathematical questions for several hours, we get the wrong answers after a time. We make silly mistakes which we aren’t able to also detect. However, a power nap of 5-10 minutes solves the same question within seconds. So take consistent breaks to help your mind freshen & deduce the program.
Freshen Up & get back to work!
7. Minimize Distractions
Minimizing distractions is entirely out of your control. Whether you work in the office or at home, it’s pretty normal to face distractions. Distractions seem to be more in work from home. The office has co-workers & everyone is busy in doing their job. But even in an office, we face distractions. If you are doing work from home, it’s good to set boundaries with your family for a particular period. However, doing so isn’t easy.
Secondly, create a peaceful work environment. Few people love to listen to music while doing their job. But few love the quiet atmosphere. It all varies from person to person. Whatever is the case with you, you need to create a comfortable work environment. Because your work time should produce something productive or else, tasks will pile up while the time runs out.
So set a boundary, create a work environment & start your work!
8. Always Be Learning
As a programmer, you should be open-minded to learn anything new. Don’t stop learning once you get a developer’s job. Knowledge is always valued & no one can steal it from you. Once you are in the infotech industry, you should be up-to-date. Try to learn new things with sincerity.
Learning new things ensures job security too. Because you are ahead of others, if you find some time out of your busy schedule, take advantage and learn new things. Also, do it when you are traveling or in leisure time, etc.
Watch videos, Read or listen to Podcasts. Another truth is, when we start getting paid for what we love, the passion tends to dilute. So learning new things keeps you pumped up. Utilize your time!
Yes, it’s not easy to change yourself in one day. But with micro steps, day by day, you will notice the benefits. You might feel pretty lazy first & you might think what’s wrong in taking one day off. But consistency works. So be consistent in your work, fragment your work into a daily task, set rewards for each day, structure your project, use management tools to organize things, be a fast typist, minimize distractions & try to learn new things. Follow up these tips & you will surely be a productive developer. All the Best!