Productivity can be hard no matter what job you have. Still, if there’s anything to be said for an office job with oversight and regular deadlines, it’s that motivation is a little easier to come by. For a lot of programmers, developers, designers, writers, and other individuals who have to be self-motivated to complete projects, reaching an appropriate level of productivity can be challenging. In this article, we’re going to talk about a couple of strategies that can get you out of a slump and back to work.
There’s a very tricky element of mental discipline that it takes to be truly productive when the only person you really have to report to is yourself, and this is especially hard to do if you work from home. Part of the challenge is to create a physical and mental space that you have set aside for work and to keep that place distinct from other aspects of your life.
This means minimizing distractions in the form of personal emails and communications, friends, family, hobbies, and so on when you are working — if you’re thinking about that other stuff, or if you’re constantly distracted, it’s almost impossible to really get into your job. So, invest in noise canceling headphones, set aside a room in your house as an office if you work from home, and get yourself in a workspace where you can be productive. Do what you need to do to create boundaries.
This goes along with setting aside space for work, but it can also mean digital organization. Everyone’s taste for how minutely they want to organize is different, but a well-developed organizational process can really improve your ability to stay ahead of deadlines and especially to avoid missing project details because they’ve been forgotten about in an unfiled pile of information. So, what can you do to make your workflow organized?
- Start using a weekly planner. Why weekly and not daily? By organizing your week in advance there’s less chance that daily distractions will interfere with your schedule.
- Use and maintain a set of document templates for things such as estimates and quotes.
- Start keeping track of all the tasks you devote time to throughout the day. By keeping track of your time in this way you’ll be able to identify potential areas of improvement.
- Automate as much of your workflow as possible. There’s great tools out there to help with this, such as Ontraport which or wrote about recently.
Maintain a Work/Life Balance
Your job is your job and the rest of your life is the rest of your life. I said earlier, that you don’t want to let your personal life interrupt your work too much, but the reverse is also true. There’s a strong temptation, especially among people who work with a lot of deadlines, to let your work cut into after work hours. It’s very important that you don’t let that happen. A lot of workers who let their work cut too much into their personal lives find themselves stressed and their family and social lives often suffer, which can lead to anxiety and, ironically, degraded performance at work. Give yourself a clear distinction between your work and your personal life, and the rest will follow naturally.
These are just a few tips to boost productivity for developers. Do you have any tips or tricks that help you stay focused and productive, or on the other hand tips on what not to do? If you do then please share!
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