My 7 tips for productivity

Some tips on staying productive

With the current global situation that we are in, it can be a difficult times for some people as unemployment numbers are up. COVID-19 has affected us in different ways whether it’s our job, way of living or plainly how we approach things. Nonetheless, it’s a learning experience for all of us and it’s a wake up call for everyone whether it’s our taking our health more serious or how take things for granted even for little things like toilet paper and water (always has been an issue especially third-world countries). It changes how we travel and we interact with people. Things will never go back the way it used to be and wearing a face mask will be the new norm.

The positive take away from all these is, now, people are doing more things to care for themselves such as take supplements and do preventative measures to have stronger immune system to fight virus and various illnesses, etc. We as a society are reactive though and are not willing to change until something significant happens like we’re in at the moment. What is a happening now in wake of the pandemic is, people are learning to do more and take much needed steps to embrace healthier lifestyle and be more conscious of how we live. We can always do better.

I always find that there’s always room for becoming more productive even if you already are productive. I’ve put together a list of things that I do to boost my productivity.

How to stay productive?

Staying productive is especially tough since most people are at home and work can be challenging especially if you have kids who are at home as well. Things are always changing so learning to adopt to the current situation is essential. We can’t control the pandemic but we have total control on how we live. Here’s a few ideas that I use and keep in mind in order to stay productive.

  1. Sleep at least 8 hours every night.

As much as I love coffee to wake me up, you can’t rely on coffee and I can’t think and work effectively with less sleep.

  1. Write down ideas on a physical notebook.

I put a lot of things on OneNote but I find an actual notebook to be more effective for making to-do lists and keeping track of ideas. I can type faster but I find that having a notebook in front of my makes information more accessible. Every time I come across an idea, I write it down.

  1. Standing up.

One of my favorite hacks to keep myself productive throughout the whole day. Whether I’m working on my standing desk or in the kitchen, I’m always standing. I’m standing 95% of the day and I unplug my laptop when I’m sitting down to force me to stand up if my laptop is running out of battery. Once I sit down, I know it’s game over.

  1. Exercise.

Walking is fine but if you’re physically capable of running or doing some weight lifting, you should. I feel more focused and can think clearly after a good workout vs without. If anything, keep moving and get those “steps” in and set some goals and strive for better fitness. I also use a watch to keep track of my sleep and steps so if a device helps, you should use it as well.

  1. Use the 80/20 principle.

It’s a principle that 80% of the outcome/output is a result of 20% of input. Stop wasting effort on things that are not contributing to the task at hand. This is not about doing any shortcuts. This is about assessing a task and finding out the most productive way of accomplishing it.

  1. Set daily goals.

Before you power up that laptop, grab a notebook (see step 2 above) and write down the things that you need to get done today. Make a list and check it off as you do them. During the weekend or non work hours, I’ll open the notebook and write down weekly or mid to long term goals.

  1. Take breaks and learn when to stop.

As developers, this can be a difficult thing to do especially if we’re in the middle of developing something, trying to meet a deadline or stuck with a problem. I’ve solved a lot of problems and had best solution when being away from the keyboard.

So there it is folks. I hope that the few steps above helps someone in becoming more productive. Please come back for more future contents.

Dennis Rongo
Dennis Rongo
Software Engineer