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MH Tsai

3 Productivity tips for software engineer works remotely

As software engineers work remotely becomes a new norm, how to be prolific is an important thing we should all think about now, it's not only because of the job itself, but more importantly, it keeps us from burning out when the border between work and life is getting blurry.

Here are three tips to keep you productive:

1. Take 10 minutes to settle everything before you start your work.

There is always one thing that can prevent you from concentrating on your work. Maybe you forget to pour yourself a coffee, or maybe you wander around different apps just to get the right music playlist that matches your working vibe.

Take 10 minutes, get yourself a coffee, check the tickets you're going to work on today, pick a music playlist (Sorry, but no podcast, I will explain this later), or even make your working desk clean and tidy. The biggest enemy of being productive is a distraction.

This 10 minutes preparation will definitely bring you more time to focus on your upcoming work.

2. Make your working environment Do Not Disturb friendly.

The second tip is to keep yourself not being disturbed by anything or anyone easily. Turn your Do Not Disturb mode on, keep your phone face down or even put it away from the working desk.

We usually consider ourselves good at multitasking, but actually, we are good at switching concentration, and every time we switch the context, we will need more energy to recap the previous work's context. Our willpower is just like a muscle, it will get tired easily when frequently switching between different things.

If you are used to listening to music or podcast during work. I strongly recommend just listening to music, when listening to podcasts, you're actually consuming others' perspectives, you are draining your willpower without you even noticing it

3. Work on the hardest task first and give your brain a positive feedback

As we mentioned above, willpower is a mental muscle, it will be tired and exhausted. So here comes our third tip for productivity: Do the hard task first, it can be a complex system design, solving some critical issues, or writing some important documents. Leave most of your willpower on doing the important things first.

And don't forget to reward your brain with positive feedback, it can be really simple, like striking through a to-do list item on the notebook or any to-do list app. Make it feel like playing a game, the funnier it becomes, the easier for you to move on to the next new task.


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2024 ❤️ MH (Frank) Tsai