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Get Shit Done: 25 tips to focus, get work done and become a better developer

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With the uprise of smartphones, social media and IoT, our day-to-day life is so much different than 10 years ago. We receive hundreds of notifications per day, our email inbox is getting filled on evenings and weekends and we only see successful people on our social media timelines. Also our working environments changed, since a lot of offices have an open-space strategy with flexible workspaces.

In this new reality, it’s getting harder and harder to focus and concentrate on difficult tasks that demand dedication and commitment. We live by the minute, search for instant gratification and getting our inbox and tasklist to zero is a goal on itself.

In this session we will present you with 25 practical tips and tricks to change your daily lifestyle and get more shit done as a developer. We give tips about changing your daily tasks, create priorities to advance in your career and personal life and provide you with review tools to measure the set goals. With these tips and tricks you will experience less stress so that you can focus on your overall goals and things that actually matter.

This session isn’t the holy grail, but it’s just our vision on how we get work done. We believe this can be insightful for a lot of developers, who are facing the same problems. Feel free to share you productivity tips and tricks with us with #TNgetshitdone

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Get Shit Done: 25 tips to focus, get work done and become a better developer

  1. 1. Get Shit Done 25 tips to focus, get work done and become a better developer Artem Makarov & Ramon Wieleman #teqnation2019
  2. 2. Disclaimer and explanation Tips and tricks are only our best practices and don’t always apply to your personal situation!
  3. 3. About us Ramon Wieleman Founder / Director at Code Nomads AmsterdamJUG board member Obsessed with productivity improvements Artem Makarov Senior Software Developer at Code Nomads DIY Electronics Enthusiast Loves life hacks
  4. 4. Share your tips! ● #TNgetshitdone ● Best tip gets rewarded with one of our favorite books
  5. 5. Overview of today’s presentation Why this talk? Current situation / problems Our 25 Productivity Tips & Tricks Your tips? #TNgetshitdone Questions?
  6. 6. In school you learn to work in a certain profession or industry… but… nobody teaches you how to work
  7. 7. How did we get here? Our lives as juniors: • “I can focus, work hard and remember everything!” • “Getting my inbox to zero is a good day” • “I’m a multi-tasker” • No focus on important tasks, but only on urgent tasks • Live and work by the minute • Stay awake at night from all work tasks that I needed to do
  8. 8. Our approach for change • Read books and literature • Lived by those rules • Totally changed our way of working
  9. 9. Information overload • 28% of working population in the Netherlands experiences information overload Source: https://www.monitorarbeid.tno.nl/nieuws/nea- persbericht-2018-informatieovervloed
  10. 10. Burn-outs Source of data: https://www.cbs.nl/nl-nl/nieuws/2018/46/meer-psychische-vermoeidheid-ervaren-door-werk
  11. 11. Screens are everywhere
  12. 12. Number of tasks per day
  13. 13. Tips and Tricks • General tips • Avoiding distractions • Your working environment • Tools and apps • Reach for your goals
  14. 14. General tips
  15. 15. 1. Urgency vs importance: Eisenhower Matrix
  16. 16. 2. Set your priorities: working order Calendar Task list E-mail Social media
  17. 17. 3. Set up a solid calendar • Calendar is leading! Always! • Schedule non-urgent important tasks • Schedule time for learning new things • A meeting is more than “just a meeting” • Fill in location & send calendar invites • Communicate in a pro- active way
  18. 18. 4. Set up a good task list • Choose your ideal task list • Transform task into action • The “someday” and “anytime” folder • Bundle multiple actions • Make labels • Create “pending” label
  19. 19. 5. Your “second brain” • Add tasks to your task list that keep you awake at night • Let your task list remember it instead of you • Be descriptive when writing tasks • Tools: Things 3, Omnifocus
  20. 20. 6. Don’t get distracted by email • Email is distracting • Email is never urgent • Pause your inbox • Schedule 3 x 30 minutes a day in your agenda • Apply this configuration on all devices • Don’t cheat!
  21. 21. 7. Processing email? Is there a deadline for to take action? 05 ● Yes -> schedule time in your agenda ● No -> Add to task list Can you process this email within 2 minutes? 04 ● No -> Go to Step 5 ● Yes -> Do it right away Is any action required?03 ● No -> Archive ● Yes -> Go to Step 4 Do you need/want something with this email? 02 ● No -> Reject ● Yes -> Go to Step 3 Read the e-mail01
  22. 22. 8. Filter and sort your email
  23. 23. 9. The 2-minute rule Does the task takes more than 2 minutes? 02 ● Schedule time in your calendar ● Add to task list Can a task/action be done in 2 minutes? 01 Do it right away!
  24. 24. 10. Celebrate victories
  25. 25. 11. Take a walk
  26. 26. 12. Tomato/tomato
  27. 27. 13. Break it down
  28. 28. 14. Life is a game
  29. 29. Avoiding distractions
  30. 30. 15. Turn off notifications • Do not disturb mode • Screen time statistics (this is insane!) • Turn off notifications • Reduce use of instant messaging
  31. 31. 16. Screen limits • Set limits per app • Do not disturb between 20:00 and 07:00 • No social media! • Less social media • Real addicts: use a dedicated social media device (iPad only)
  32. 32. Your working environment
  33. 33. 17. Set team rules
  34. 34. 18. More screens - more productivity?
  35. 35. 19. Pair programming
  36. 36. 20. Working from home discipline
  37. 37. Reach for your goals
  38. 38. 21. Set your goals What things am I good at? Skills What do I like? Passion What’s important to me? Mission Formulate plans Turn plans into actions 2. Get into action About your mission, passion, skills 1. Think Execute your actions 3. Experience it
  39. 39. 22. Review your goals • Periodically review your goals (week, quarter, year) • Look back on the goals you set • Where do you want to be with your goals? • At which point are you now? • Seeing your progress is very rewarding!
  40. 40. 23. Stay healthy • Stay hydrated • Coffee: short-term boost, but long-term downer • Walk to the coffee corner • Sleep well • Alcohol is no friend to your sleep • No devices in the bedroom • Buy an alarm clock (20 euro’s)
  41. 41. 24. Meditation & mindfullness • Learn to deal with stress & information overload • Calm down your brain by breathing • 5 minutes is enough • App: Headspace
  42. 42. 25. Use tools and apps • Boomerang – Inbox Pause • Adios – Gmail Inbox Pause • Things – Task list • Omnifocus – Task list • PlainTasks (Sublime Plugin) – Task list • Trello – Colloboration platform • Headspace - Mindfullness
  43. 43. References • Burnout Assessment tool - https://www.psynip.nl/actueel/nieuws/2019/burn-out-assessment-tool- gelanceerd-en-te-gebruiken/ • Basic rest-activity cycle - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_rest–activity_cycle • Dual-screen productivity study from Dell - https://www.dell.com/downloads/global/products/monitors/en/dual_monitors_boost_productivity_whitepa per.pdf • Microproductivity study from Microsoft - https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/wp- content/uploads/2016/02/chi15-micro.pdf
  44. 44. Your tips #TNgetshitdone Live Twitter feed
  45. 45. #teqnation2019 Thanks for your attention! Don’t forget to rate our session in the events app