How to be a more productive developer?

I just watched this:

(tldr: remove bad choices so you don’t need to use willpower)

It got me thinking about ways to increase productivity. How do you ensure you remain productive?


I try to hide my email inbox for designated chunks of time so I don’t get distracted, because sometimes I’m too eager to help my colleagues for my own good. :rocket: (Their stuff usually ends up less urgent than I assume.)

Also, when starting a new task, I try to review what I need to know and then take a short walk, preferably outside. Sometimes, while carrying the task lightly in my mind, better approaches present themselves. There have even been rare occasions when I have realized the task didn’t need to be done at all. :zen:


I silence email when I need to get something done too Ted! :see_no_evil:

Fresh air is great advice as well (water helps concentration levels too).

Something I personally find very helpful is music - if I am coding I actually need it, and I usually have something like on. For some reason, songs are a bit distracting and I seem to prefer mixes, particularly the higher BPM stuff, but it depends on the songs. Drum and Bass is definitely my go-to while working tho! :musical_note:

I also like a clean desk! If my desk is cluttered it just affects how I work - I have no idea why :upside_down_face:

I also agree with what he said in the video I posted in the first post, removing distractions is great - I often delete TikTok because it is just so addictive!! If it’s not on my phone I can’t open it :laughing: This literally had my LOL’ing at 2am the other night :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Aside from that, I think eating a clean diet can help too. Gluten is a known neurotransmitter blocker for instance, and I’ve definitely noticed a difference with it in or out of my diet.


Who needs willpower when you’re a US citizen with less than six months salary saved (aside from retirement accounts that you dare not touch because of tax penalties) and thus live in terror of poverty?


+1. Visual clutter is an odd cognitive burden for me too, to the degree that I rarely have anything on my computer desktops.


Visual clutter is an odd cognitive burden for me too, to the degree that I rarely have anything on my computer desktops.

I maintain a clean desk policy for security reasons. If I’m not leaving printouts everywhere I’m less likely to cause a data breach.


Hear hear, my work desk at work is absolutely clear other than food on occasion and some cleaning supplies. Dealing with both FERPA and HIPPA is very strict. ^.^;


Learn hotkeys in your favorite IDE. Using built-in hotkeys in IntelliJ and mapping keys for macro start/stop recording really improves my life.


Like these hotkeys, I’d agree with this article, although I’d probably toss in a few others. ^.^


I thought of another one.

When dealing with design or fielding change requests, encourage the stakeholders to state the problem/goal/motivation, instead of simply suggesting solutions.

I’ve seen too many change requests that say things like “add this thing” or “change the behavior like this”.

Okay, that’s great, but why? What’s the issue at hand? :thinking:

I also find that stakeholders are more willing to restate the premise once they understand that including the problem/goal/motivation means everyone involved can come up with potential solutions instead of getting hung up on why the one suggested solution may or may not work.

In short, context really is everything.