November 14th, 2018
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Time Management Tricks for Web Developers: When There Is a Room in Your Schedule
How many times did you hear a claim about time management being the key to success?
As Alexis Carrel once said,
“The most efficient way to live reasonably is every morning to make a plan of one’s day and every night to examine the results obtained.”
Being awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, this man seems a dude we can trust. Ultimately, Mr. Carrel struggled for what we all want to reach today: a way to make life better.
Even (and especially) if we are web developers.
Indeed, time management basics can bring success and improve web development to new levels. As a developer, you do want to improve your skills, become productive, find a way to make more money, etc., so you are ready to sacrifice time, family, and friends for additional work…
As far as you understand, it’s not a solution, and it will end with nothing but stress and unsatisfied life.
Yes, a web development cycle is multitasked (plans, concepts, development, design, testing, and so on), but you’ll be surprised how a few time management tricks can change life and bring success to it. Learn some concepts and choose those working best for you to save time and make your web development work more productive and efficient.
Get rid of distractions
We know what you think:
“Oh my… Any Tom, Dick or Harry gives this advice when it comes to time management. I know it already!”
Oh, really? Then what about your Facebook or Skype? We bet they are open now, and you are not going to miss any notifications from them, are you?
We all know how distracting all those Whatsapp, Twitter, email notifications, Slack, and others can be. They make it difficult for us to concentrate on work, but we continue using them. According to a study by the Michigan State University, 2.8 seconds are enough to distract us and lead to errors in work; so, make sure you manage all potential distractions and social interactions with your colleagues and friends.
- Close all applications that don’t relate to your work.
- Set scheduled breaks to answer emails.
“Doing things right is not as important as doing the right things.”
~ Drucker Dictum.
It often happens, web developers spend a lot of time on tasks that have no value for a customer. So, make sure you understand what is important for your project, and set priorities to save time.
How can you do that?
- Divide tasks by difficulty levels: the hardest or most urgent ones go first, minor ones go afterward. Some developers prefer dealing with interesting tasks first. Well, why not, actually?
- Ask your manager or customer to order and prioritize tasks properly
- Those tasks go first which implementation depends on several people. Do your part of work to avoid later distractions.
- Outsource sub-tasks: spend more time on coding, creating descriptions can be delegated to legit essay writing services.
Set time limits for every task
Deliverables matter for every web developer. If you manage them, it means you know how much time it takes to complete every separate task. It also means you can set time limits for every task to control its implementation and motivate yourself to work quicker and harder.
Break down your work into intervals with the help of these techniques and time management tools:
- Pomodoro improves your productivity through taking short breaks every 25-30 minutes.
- Definition of Done lets you analyze tasks that are done or need to be done.
- Remember the Milk manages your tasks and reminds you about them.
- Focus Booster helps to get rid of procrastination and enhances your focus.
- Toggl tracks your time spent on projects and tasks; analyzes how to spend time more effectively.
- Mind42 gets you organized by focusing on essential tasks.
- Zen Mode – a tool for web developers to get rid of distractions and focus on writing.
Share your work and ask for advice
Don’t be greedy. It’s time and energy consuming to work on a project and complete all tasks alone, so if you have someone who can take a part of work and they are available – give it to them. It’s not about laziness or shirking, it’s about responsibility and time management.
When should you think on delegating some tasks to colleagues?
- You know they will do it faster and better than you.
- You have more urgent and important tasks to complete, and you understand you don’t have time to deal with everything alone.
- You see that a person is able to complete this task without your assistance.
Dr. Eli Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints says you can’t complete a project until the slowest member of your team completes his (her) work. With that in mind, delegate tasks to right people regardless their position in your team (not only from a manager to a developer but vice versa too, if needed). As far as you understand, teamwork will be effective only if all members are ready for honest communication.
Every project involves risks, and web developers are here to resolve them. To save time and avoid some risks, don’t be shy to ask your colleagues or friends for advice: they can share a link to useful tutorials or their experience of resolving the same problems, for example.
Don’t forget to sleep and take some rest
In 1964, one… not clever guy Randy Gardner did his best to break a record for the longest time awake, which was 260 hours. His attempt was documented and described in the book Sleep Thieves, and it proved there was nothing good about it: on the day 2, Randy had troubles with focusing his eyesight, he hallucinated on the day 4, he had a slurred speech and no understanding by the last day of the experiment.
The moral of this story: you can’t expect high productivity if your are tired.
Yes, you are a web developer, what means you usually spend a minimum eight hours per day at your computer. Yes, it may happen you work better at nights, so you come home and sit at your computer again. No matter how good and expensive your comp screen is, it still ruins your eyesight; no matter how productive you are at nights, your brain needs sleep to think clearly.
- Plan your day with due regard to sleep and some rest.
- Don’t ignore trying different techniques to train eyes.
As a web developer, you understand that even small detail can be important. Sometimes we fail because we don’t pay attention to it or consider it insignificant for our success. The mentioned tricks can become your first step towards new life and successful career.
It’s high time to manage your time, plan it, and become better.