Developers April 6, 2020

👨🏽‍💻 Your Top Tip for Productive coding in lockdown?


I'm nearing the end of a big release and could do with some tips to get it over the line! Especially since we're in lockdown here and I can't take breaks as easily....

Would love to hear what others do to stay productive and focused 🙂

  1. 3

    I recently started to live stream on Twitch while coding, that's just perfect to avoid distractions and procrastination. It definitely beats any other productivity trick I tried so far!

    1. 1

      Haha. This is great!

  2. 3

    Stick to a routine (for me coding first thing in the morning when I’m most fresh) and avoiding the news.

    1. 1

      For sure! My routine is usually pretty solid and I too am a morning coder (mostly). It's just that lately I've found not being able to go outside much has made my existing routines feel way too intense... Also agreed news avoidance is very critical for concentration!

  3. 3
    1. Fresh pot of tea early in the morning

    2. Turn off phone + toss it in another room

    3. Maximum of 5 open tabs on Chrome at once, and only for coding help!

    1. 1

      I've actually done all of these today so far and they're all solid... Tea before coffee might be a real winner actually!

  4. 2

    This is not specific to lockdown, but if you're actually in an environment where focused attention is possible (i.e. you don't have tiny humans interrupting you), here is how I code for 90 mins using a workout timer

    1. 1

      Thanks @bhumi. Really useful blog!

  5. 2
    • Start with Yoga, Meditation and a Coffee. I also do read or listen to a podcast in the mornings and made it a habit during the lockdown.
    • In general, I always set myself one main objective for the day, which usually takes around 1-2,5 hours of work to get done. This way I make sure that I will ALWAYS end the day with the feeling of having achieved something.
    • Also sometimes if either I struggle to stay concentrated or I forget to take breaks I use the Pomodoro technique.
    1. 1

      All good ideas. Thanks!!

      In Particular this reading/podcast before work might be really handy. One of the things I'm finding is I wake up with yesterday's code in my minds eye, literally, and this isn't sustainable.

  6. 2

    I create a routine/timetable for the day that I refer back to to make sure I'm doing what I planned. I also get rid of distractions like my phone and put my headphones on. I need concentrated blocks of time as a developer. It's also important to take breaks though and schedule these in - going for a run helps too, you have to balance deep concentrated work time with giving your brain a rest!

    In terms of just getting started, take the simplest thing on the list and do that first. Then you're off and you've got going.

    I also use Headspace at certain planned times of day to step away and try and clear the mind.

    1. 1

      Great ideas. I usually use the system Cal Newport suggests in deep work to map out the days work before starting, but I think lockdown in the Uk has just meant I've been coding so much that it's just not well balanced enough... runs/ Headspace etc. are probably the right counter points here!

      1. 1

        Yeah exactly, I've read Deep Work too, that's what got me starting a weekly timetable for focusing on one thing at a time 👍

  7. 2

    Three tips of things I do when I need to get things done:

    • Split my next task into bite sized steps. Write them on a piece of paper and leave it sticking out from my keyboard. Tick off items when done in red pen.

    • Play an album or playlist I know from start to finish. Race the end of the music to finish your task. Using familiar audio queues from the music to tell how long I have left.

    • Close all distractions if possible. Email, YouTube, Messenger just [X] the tabs. Do it.

    1. 1

      The trick with playlist is nice

    2. 1

      I like the tactic of racing your favourite album to the end! Thanks!

  8. 2

    Personal Routine: wake up @8am and make a pot of coffee. Don't code till you get 2 cups in and have done something to destress like watching friends or playing a video game.

    Doing this gives me a coding boost for around 5 hours. Also, techno music.

    1. 1

      Interesting that you start with coffee and relaxing activities first! Thanks for the tip.

      Also, what techno are you into? Any good mixes to recommend?