Boosting productivity to get even more work done

Nowadays it’s all about being more productive and getting more work done. But a day only has 24 hours and you need to get some sleep and recreation too, right?! Some best practices are generally known but hard to realize especially when working in a tech job. But some are really worth trying!

My four top tips

In my opinion these are the things you really should make part of your work life:

  • Don’t multitask the important stuff!
    Getting interrupted while writing code and switching to other tasks is a rather bad idea as you need quite some time getting back to full focus on your code again. This leads to an immense amount of time lost and also decreases code quality as you are more likely to introduce bugs. And as you sure know bug fixing isn’t only painful, but costs you even more time.
  • Activate “Do not disturb”-mode!
    This one is pretty hard to put into action when working in IT as — no matter your position — there is always some day-to-day business that cannot be completely planned. If your team size and structure allows it, you should define a schedule for some sort of on-call duty for regular office hours in addition to the more widely spread on-call duty for weekends and nights. This can be implemented on a day-by-day basis or in blocks of serveral hours for example. If done properly this enables you and your colleagues to have a fixed amount of time soley for the important stuff that really needs deep focus without having to worry about urgent daily business not getting done.
  • Make meetings that take 20 minutes or less the norm!
    I guess everyone sees themselves sitting in meetings that could be cut down to about two thirds in length without the risk of not obtaining the desired results from time to time. So try to shorten the meetings you schedule and encourage co-workers to follow suit.
  • Get meeting agendas and goals ahead of time (or don’t attend)!
    Directly related to the previous top tip, as this really helps reducing the duration of meetings. If the person organizing the meeting knows exactly what needs to be discussed and achieved during the meeting, everything will be more structured and productive. Furthermore every participant has the possibility to think about the important topics in advance and therefore the goals will be attained much quicker. However, this tip isn’t meant for Jours fixes which shouldn’t take longer than 5-10 minutes anyways and most of the time discussed topics cannot be planned in advance.

Inspiration & further reading

Today I read the article “10 Ways That Productive People Get More Work Done in Fewer Hours” published on the Salesforce blog, which inspired me writing this similar post which in contrast to the mentioned one is focussed on jobs in tech.