November 05, 2019

How to be Productive - My ( Developer) Guide

Productivity is something that varies from a person to person. In the tech world, if someone able to master the 'art of managing time' they are the ones whom we should look like Rockstar as they are the most productive.

Every person has at least 2 things - family (personal) and job (remote or non-remote) to manage. Many folks could have - studies (full-time, part-time), some hobby, or some community (like me).  The more things(tasks) one has in their life, the more difficult it becomes to manage the time. This brings the struggle to manage everything with quality. As well as, it brings the fall in productivity and increase stress.

For me - I have a full-time job from Mon-Fri with late-night calls, my family, my community (JSLovers), speaking assignments, mentoring assignments, side-projects, and self-learning, and my hobby - calligraphy, I was struggling a lot to manage my time and be productive. Then I understood that instead of managing 100 things all-together try to be productive in the task you are picking at once. I did a few changes in my work-style and habits. Today I am able to have a stress-free (almost)  life from being unproductive. What are those changes?

1) Start using your calendar

At work, I started blocking my calendar for every task, meeting, or anything. This helped me to plan my day/week before. This also makes me mentally prepare for 'meetings day' to 'fewer meetings day'. As well as, I keep my Friday free from meetings. Now, because I know how my next day would be I can plan what time I have to be in the office, what time I can leave from work (early). This makes my time-management awesome. As well as, help me to be productive at work.

PS: Do not forget to block your time for lunch and commute time. Otherwise, you will end up doing meetings at lunchtime too.

2) Less social media

I won't lie, I am very social media addicted and it is the truth that social media could be the top reason for being unproductive. The first thing I did is turn off the notifications on the mobile (as I was not brave enough to delete the apps, but if you are brave then please do it). Now, my Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter, Meetup have notifications off. This help me focus on my work rather than getting distracting. As well as, I hardly do Facebook and Instagram now. I have no interest in that (though I used to be very addictive to them).

3) Power of Notebook

I used to have the habit that "It is in my memory. I won't forget" but this is the worst habit. The reason is, somewhere back in my mind I  struggle to keep the notes in my memory. So, that I can tell if someone asks me in the future. So, I started carrying a notebook (non-digital) with me everywhere and write the notes with date and meetings wise. Now, I can relax because every important thing is in my notebook and I don't need to struggle to remember everything. This helped me in focusing only on the present as well as keeping all the notes intact.

I know people prefer digital notebook but I am old school.

4) Ask for help

There is no point in pushing yourself to solve or do something which you are not able. Instead of beating yourself hard it is good to start asking for help. In fact, I started asking for help when I have too much on my plate. Either it is the community work or office work (which I can delegate). Asking for help is not a bad thing. It is about helping yourself by letting someone help you.

5) It is all about priorities

I used to try to do everything all together and end up doing nothing. The one tip I got from my senior is making the list of to-do and pick the priority. The task which requires top-most attention pick them first and for the task which is not so important to deal with them later. Now, I make a day-to-day list of tasks in the first half of the day I pick the priority-tasks and focus on them. Now, when someone does a followup with me of the tasks, I can easily tell them the status and priority too.

6) Commute time

This is the one thing I am doing since I started Job. I always carry my books, videos and while commuting to/from work I listen to them. They helped me a lot. This is a great way to utilize the time.

7) Say No to the courses

I am sure you all would be having the online courses account for which you paid and forgot. Every month when you get the statement at that time you regret the decision of purchasing it or not able to devote time to watch the course. Well, I used to have udemy course, Master front-ends, Pluralsight and many more. I was hardly spending time to watch and learn from the courses. What I did? I unsubscribed all. Yes, all. Why? I made a promise I will buy 1 course at one time. Once that is finished then only I will buy than the new one. This helped me in saving some $ $, focus on one course at a time hence more productive.

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