3 habits of highly effective programmers

There’s an infinity of content describing how highly effective professionals work, how the perfect daily routine is, and how you can to finish your tasks faster by applying some technique. This kind of content is useful, but stay alert! 😯 It’s easy to lost time, while you’re trying to optimizing it.

Thus, I’d like to share the main techniques I could successfully apply to my everyday routine. After all, more important than working faster, is to optimize your time to have well-balanced and enjoyable days.

1. Get in the zone

The zone is the most critical time of the day because it’s when things get done. So, saving some time for deep focused work is the key for finishing things.

I’m not just talking about programming. Sometimes I need to get into the zone for writing e-mails, thinking about problems, or participating in meetings. The whole point is to be 100% involved in what you’re doing at that moment.

So, for staying in the zone, it’s fundamental to save some period of the day and set expectations about how accessible you will be during that time. Of course, phone notifications and other automated-distractions are the annoying zone-enemies.

2. Use to-do lists with discipline

To-do lists help to keep your ideas somewhere else and free your mind space.

I must confess that I my a scratch-book fan. However, I’m abandoning it in favor of apps. Tasks frequently emerge during the day and re-organizing them in scratch-books is not manageable.

Apps like Todoist and Things 3 provide a visualization of your current work and have handy shortcuts to create, delete, and postpone secondary tasks, keeping track of them. Also, you can group to-do items, and organize them into projects and sub-projects.

I won’t review any app here, but I highly recommend to try something like the apps mentioned above.

3. Have a learning routine

We’re learning new stuff all the time - in the lunch, at the bar, and while we’re working. Usually, that’s not enough, and having a daily routine of one or two study hours helps to keep ourselves motived.

Generally, we tend to learn what we like naturally and leave boring subjects aside. So, I try to keep a balance, studying two topics in parallel: something that it’s fun and I like; and something I need to learn.

Let’s get it started

I’ve tried to keep this list as simple as possible and pick only topics that genuinely matter.

However, people and work environments are different, so don’t force yourself to apply something you read here artificially :-) instead, I hope you can get some insights here I think again if there’s something that you can improve in your day.

Wanna talk about this post? @ me on Twitter :-)