“Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else”, quoted by Peter Drucker, a well-known management consultant in history.
Stuck between almost impossible deadlines, schedules, and intense amounts of work, a lot of developers lose more time than making use of it.
The constant pressure from superior authority to be “productive” does more harm than good.
It is the equivalent of feeding the overfed. Back-to-back work will not only hamper creative freedom but will also give no space for good ideas that are often slowly generated.
When we look at the results of these endless quests, they are not as promising as they should be.
So, what should one, as a developer do? What are the potential solutions that can be adopted?
Well, we have enlisted a few pointers that can be the answer to your “how-to”
- No Need For Speed
Being a developer of any kind, the output should offer good quality rather than quantity.
The number of hours that should be given to one task highly varies from person to person.
Along with that, you have to keep a check on other overhead activities such as answering emails, attending status meetings, traveling, training, etc. How they fit in your schedule will determine how much time you can save. And still, get everything done.
A cluttered environment is never a good place to work. Because in this case, it can break the concentration of the developer.
A little planning is just what you need to save the day. Prepare, prioritize and schedule important things ahead to save time.
Having consistent folders to keep track of all the work you have done makes programming easier. When it comes to development, there are a lot of things to be kept in mind. A structured and hassle-free working system will yield great results.
“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” – Paul J. Meyer
- Avoid Over Engineering
Instead of creating unnecessary and complex codes, look for simpler and effective solutions! Software Development is limitless and uncertain. And that is why we overdo the codes to be prepared (and be perfect).
To reduce the unrequired coding, carefully craft the intended project. Figure out the correlations between the small components.
- Stop At The Right Time
Stop! You’re wasting too much time configuring and customizing your editor and workflow again! As much as these activities are an essential part of software development, they take the attention away from what is integral-coding.
Do you know?
On average, more than 15 hours every week developers spend time on tasks outside of writing application code—from maintaining internal tooling to setting up dev environments to debugging pipelines, to waiting for builds and test results. (Source)
- Avoid Consistent Refactoring
Refactoring is changing the internal structure of code without any major modification in its behaviour. It eases up the understanding and makes the code more maintainable.
But if you are constantly refactoring codes even when there’s no potential risk in the future, then it hinders your time management. Hence, do not refactor codes unless necessary. The saved time can be utilized for other important things.
- Away Out Of The Loophole
What wastes a lot of time is living in doubts and having tons of “what ifs” in mind about your project.
We as developers think about extreme situations that could happen in the future (of which the chances are very low). They might not even happen! You can get the feature built-in and shipped in the same amount of time you indulge in self-doubt.
- Don’t Over Optimise
Tiny performance gains are very rewarding when it comes to forming codes, but that is over-optimization, and you should AVOID IT!
Let’s take a step back and see why. Optimizing your codes can help you to make the project better, but it can also sabotage. It can take up a lot of time and also, the constant expectation of improving it might ruin it.
So, the next time you catch yourself over-optimizing, save your time by investing it somewhere else.
- Automation Testing
Test automation is a testing methodology to test a software product that you have developed without much human intervention.
It has gained popularity over manual testing because it saves effort and time. Automation testing is accurate most of the time and helps to identify minor errors instantly.
Did you know?
If you’re spending less than 10% of your budget on test automation, you’re significantly lagging behind your peers(Source)
- Creating Shortcuts
If you, as a developer, use an IDE or any other application which allows you to add your shortcuts, then do it! The shortcut(s) can be applied every time for a feature that you use commonly. All it takes is pressing a few keys and the task is done!
- Bookmarking Your Commonly Visited Sites
When you surf on the web and have a few sites that you visit frequently, then use the bookmarks section and save them for the future.
It will save you from repetitive searching or lengthy scrolling every time. The web bookmarks feature is so versatile and convenient. You can create subfolders to keep all the information intact.
- Take “Productive” Breaks
It has been observed that short and swift work sessions generate more valuable output than long working hours, often resulting in fatigue. This small time span should be free from the tiniest distractions. In this way, you won’t feel overworked.
The breaks taken between work sessions would help you to gather back energy and prevent the situation of boredom or repetition.
Use the Pomodoro technique:
The secret to effective time management is using the Pomodoro Technique.
Effective time management while developing software and coding is not a
“Need” but it is “want”.
Saving time can also look like debugging, planning the code to avoid
Repetition, using IDE for auto-completion, and the list doesn’t end here. Always
Declutter your workspace to avoid haphazardness.
As a software developer, you have to test and try what works for you. Some can work for long hours without being sluggish, and some cannot. Each one of us operates differently. Try to implement the tips mentioned above and find ways to work around them.
Time is a very useful resource if managed properly and judiciously. Being a software developer is a complex task that has to be performed smartly.
With the right strategy and implementation of habits, it gets easier.
It is always a good decision to save a couple of hours extra, or maybe days!
Himanshu Mehra is the digital marketing manager at Competenza Innovare, an ASP.net & mobile app development company. He helps businesses to generate more leads and brand value. You can connect with him on LinkedIn, he will be happy to hear from you.