Six Tips for Increased Dev Productivity and Thirteen Addons/Apps for Better Focus and Wellbeing

Software development

Whenever you are productive, you get quality work that helps you finish important tasks or get closer to your goal. On the other hand, being busy means, you don’t allow yourself much free time because you’re constantly trying to work on too many things, whether they’re working or not. How can you become more productive so that your work brings results? In this article, we will considersix6 tips for increasing dev productivity.

Six tips for Increased dev productivity

Looking or feeling like a busy programmer is easy, but it does not achieve results. Spending too much time reading emails or doing repetitive tasks doesn’t do much.

Whenever you are productive, you get quality work that helps you finish important tasks or get closer to your goal. On the other hand, being busy means, you don’t allow yourself much free time because you’re constantly trying to work on too many things, whether they’re working or not.

A busy person can spend days without having anything tangible in the end. How can you become more productive and your work brings results? We will discuss six tips for Increased dev productivity.

Know when to step away from your computer

Coding can get intense, especially when coding for hours on end. You inevitably look at the screen from time to time, not knowing how to solve the problem you are facing.

As already mentioned, productivity does not equal hours spent on the keyboard. Staring at the screen for too long will give you a false sense of productivity because you’re busy but still doing nothing.

Clear your head for a few minutes and renew your focus. Stretch your legs or have something to drink. You will find that you can solve problems faster.

You will notice that the solution to many complex problems suddenly pops up in your head when you do another everyday task.

Spend time learning new tools

You work. In addition to mastering your tools, you should spend time learning new ones.

Developers have unique needs depending on their area of ​​expertise. There is no list required for every developer. The tools you need are different for every programmer. It largely depends on your technology stack; a Java developer uses one more than a Python developer. And even if the technical stack is the same, each developer has their preferences.

You need to figure out which tools are available to you and which ones you like best.

The goal is to always look for those that can reduce the amount of manual and repetitive work as much as possible.

Automate as much as you can

As with most works, some things tend to be very repetitive. Programming is no exception to this rule. Programming is probably one of those areas where you can automate most of your repetitive tasks.

Thus you spend less time on manual and expensive things. Of course, at first, you will have to spend some time creating a script to automate a specific task, but it will pay off in the long run.

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This is not only because you could save a few minutes by not having to perform specific tasks manually. It’s also important that you don’t need to be distracted from finishing some boring tasks you’ve been doing endlessly.

You focus on more significant tasks, forgetting about the monotonous ones.

Work on your most important task first.

Your most important task is critical accountability to create the significant results you want. All the tasks on your checklist are non-critical, so don’t treat them like they’re all the same. Determine the highest priority and make it first. That’s all it takes.

Next, you must have the discipline to schedule time to work. Work on this task in the morning. Psychologists say that we are at our best for about two hours in the morning. Finish your most crucial job before answering all the emails and phone calls.

Create a plan before writing code

Creating a plan before you start writing code will help you stay focused. As a result, you know exactly what needs to be built and how you want to approach the problem. It won’t let your thoughts slip away or add some unnecessary features that you think might be useful in the future.

First, you need to make sure you understand all the requirements. To build or fix something, you must understand what you must code. The minor details can significantly impact the solution you want to implement, so you must understand the requirements. Once you’ve done that, you can start making a plan, which you can do by breaking down your problem or feature into smaller pieces.

Think about the challenges you will face and research whatever you need. While you can get away with a lack of planning when working with a small application, lack of planning negatively affects large applications.

Cut yourself off social media.

Last but not least, the tiniest advice to improve your productivity is to give up social media. Social media is a big distraction. And for some reason, we tend to check them every 10 minutes to ensure we’re not missing anything. Only to find out that nothing interesting happened. They can suck up much of your valuable time if you’re not careful. Every time you get distracted by them, it takes time to focus again, and at the same time, nothing is easy. This is possibly the tip that can increase your productivity the most, depending on your social media habits. The best part about it is that it can be applied without much effort.

Thirteen addons/apps for better focus and wellbeing

In today’s digital world, it’s hard to focus on one task. Most people cannot ignore absolutely all external stimuli. But we can choose useful tools and form habits that will help us stay focused.

Escape

Platform: Mac

Cost: free

Feature: Helps you know how many times a user has visited distracting sites.

Escape is a simple app that considers how often a user has opened an email, social media, or other distracting websites. Every day, the service reports the number of breaks, working hours, and sites that absorb the most attention.

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This is an excellent tool to understand where time is being spent and how to spend it more rationally.

RescueTime

Platform: Windows, Android

Cost: shareware

Function: Helps analyze habits and productivity.

This is one of the most famous applications due to its effectiveness. It helps to understand what precisely the working time is spent on. Due to paid features, users have additional options: block distracting sites for a specific time, track offline activity (for example, meetings or phone calls), and register personal achievements.

Users can also set up notifications. They pop up if you spend more time on site than initially planned.

Proud

Platform: iOS

Cost: 6.15 $

Function: Helps to manage time and tasks.

Иногда кажется, что каждый день появляется как минимум одно приложение для повышения продуктивности. Возможно, так и есть, но на Proud все равно стоит обратить внимание.

Его идея проста — взять лучшие функции аналогов и объединить их в одном месте. Например, здесь можно хранить все идеи и списки дел, создавать напоминания о важных моментах, устанавливать триггеры для формирования привычек и ставить личные цели.

Flowstate

Platform: Mac

Cost: 12.14 $

Feature: A text editor that removes text if the author is distracted.

When you’re trying to write an email, a blog post, or a book, it’s sometimes hard to force yourself to follow through. Thanks to Flowstate, the user will have no other choice: the application causes them to overcome discomfort and move down to the last letter; otherwise, all text will disappear.

The process is quite simple: you need to choose a name, font, and session duration. All letters disappear when the user starts writing text and is interrupted for more than five seconds. The only way to save literary work is not to be distracted until the end of the session.

One Big Thing

Platform: iOS

Cost: shareware

Function: helps to focus on the most important goal during the day.

This is a straightforward application. It allows you to choose the “goal of the day” on which you want to focus. You can add two or three secondary goals and switch to them after completing the main one.

It’s like a digital version of regular stickers, and the app’s design is so simple and clean that it makes you want to use it daily. In the paid version, users can choose the background and stickers that appear when the task is completed.

f.lux

Platform: Mac, Windows, iOS (Jailbreak), Android, Linux

Cost: free

Function: adjusts the temperature of the screen brightness depending on the time of day.

If you look at the screen of a computer or smartphone for a long time, you can go crazy. In addition, blue light leads to insomnia. To avoid being distracted from work due to annoying backlighting, you can install f.lux – the program adjusts the brightness and saturation of the screen depending on the time of day and protects eye health.

Headspace

Platform: iOS, Android

Cost: shareware

Function: express meditation application.

Headspace helps fight stress and defocus through meditation. The authors claim that by using the application for 10 minutes a day, one can become a more attentive, creative, and happy person.

The developers have provided a 10-day introductory course to help you adapt and form a new habit. The application allows you to choose sessions for different purposes – to calm down, cope with stress and anger, or find balance.

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Time

Platform: iOS

Cost: 0.91$

Function: Helps you keep track of time with artificial intelligence.

With the help of the application, you can find out how specific long tasks take and become more collected and responsible. Time allows you to add tasks quickly, allocate a certain amount of time for them, and track how long they take.

Thanks to artificial intelligence, the application “learns” and, over time, begins to give hints on how to increase personal efficiency.

Freedom

Platform: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android

Cost: from 2.22 to 6.42 $ per month

Feature: Blocks internet irritants on all user’s devices.

The service allows you to choose the most distracting applications and block them – for a day or a couple of hours. According to the developers, the application saves an average of 2.5 hours of work time per day.

HazeOver

Platform: Mac

Cost: 5.50 $

Function: Helps focus on the current window by shading other open windows.

You have to open many windows and applications during work: in this case, the attention can be scattered even among the most focused and disciplined people.

HazeOver allows you to separate the wheat from the chaff: the application shades the desktop and all open tabs except for the active one. This helps keep you focused in a sea of open programs, emails, and conversations.

Brain. fm

Platform: iOS

Cost: shareware

Function: Artificial intelligence generates music to improve concentration, relaxation, and sleep.

Brain.fm creates personalized brain training programs based on psychoacoustics. According to the developers, it is enough to use the application for 15-30 minutes to feel the effect.

Forest

Platform: iOS, Android

Cost: 2.42 $ for iOS, shareware for Android

Function: Helps you put your phone away and do more essential things.

The application allows you to grow your digital forest. To plant a tree, you need to set a timer and put your smartphone aside – when the time is up, it will appear on the lawn. If you close the application before the countdown ends, the seedling will die.

With the help of gamification, Forest helps to maintain focus and not be distracted by the smartphone, even when it is bursting with notifications. This is important at work and at home – especially when you want to read a book.

Go Fucking Work

Platform: Chrome

Cost: free

Function: motivating website blocker.

The extension for Google Chrome not only effectively blocks unwanted sites but also encourages the user to spend less time on unnecessary things. To do this, you must create a blacklist and specify breaks.

Then, if the user visits a prohibited site during working hours, the plugin will remind him to return to the current tasks.

Conclusion or tips for focusing without apps

Let’s discuss some tips on how to stay focused even without apps. One effective habit is logging out after using an addictive platform. The idea is to increase the friction in the process so that you have to put in extra effort to use it. By entering an extra step, you are less likely to come back. You can set up two-factor authentication for the platform. Not only does this make the login process lengthy, but it also provides an extra layer of security for your account.

If you’re on a budget, getting a decent pair of noise-canceling headphones is a great way to stay focused. This blocks outside noise, which in turn, reduces distractions. You can turn on ambient music, cool lo-fi beats, or whatever helps you calm your mind.

Finally, one aspect that most of us often overlook is the right mood. Clean your desk or workspace. It doesn’t have to be the expensive dream table you see in one of those YouTube videos. A minimalist and functional desk with proper cable management goes a long way in ensuring productivity.