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7 tips for productivity

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With the current pandemic that we are in, it can be a difficult times for some people as unemployment numbers are up. COVID-19 has affected us in different ways whether it's our job, way of living or plainly how we approach things. It changes how we travel and we interact with people. Things will never go back the way it used to be and wearing a face mask will be the new norm.

The positive take away from all these is, now, people are doing more things to care for themselves such as taking supplements and do preventative measures to have stronger immune system to fight off the virus and various illnesses. What is a happening now in wake of the pandemic is, people are learning to do more and take much needed steps to embrace healthier lifestyle and be more conscious of how we live.

Since the majority of us are working at home, I've put together a list of things that I do to boost my productivity.

Staying productive is especially tough since most people are at home and work can be challenging especially if you have kids who are at home as well. Things are always changing so learning to adopt to the current situation is essential. Here's a few ideas that I use and always keep in mind in order to stay productive.

1. Sleep at least 8 hours every night

As much as I love coffee to wake me up, you can't rely on coffee and I can't think and work effectively with less sleep.

2. Write down ideas on a physical notebook

I put a lot of things on OneNote but I find an actual notebook to be more effective for making to-do lists and keeping track of ideas. I can type faster but I find that having a notebook in front of my makes information more accessible. Every time I come across an idea, I write it down.

3. Standing up

One of my favorite hacks to keep myself productive throughout the whole day. Whether I'm working on my standing desk or in the kitchen, I'm always standing. I'm standing 95% of the day and I unplug my laptop when I'm sitting down to force me to stand up if my laptop is running out of battery. Once I sit down, I know that it's game over.

4. Exercise

Walking is fine but if you're physically capable of running or doing some weight lifting, you should. I feel more focused and can think clearly after a good workout versus without. If anything, keep moving and get those steps in and set some goals and strive for better fitness. I also use a watch to keep track of my sleep and steps so if a device helps, you should use it as well.

5. Use the 80/20 principle

I follow the pareto principle which basically states that 80% of the outcome is a result of 20% of input. I don't like wasting my time or effort on things that are not contributing to the task. This is about assessing a task and finding out the most productive way of accomplishing it and getting rid of the rest.

6. Set daily goals

Before I power up my laptop, I grab a notebook (see step 2 above) and write down the things that I need to get done today. I make a list and check it off as I do them. During the weekend or non work hours, I'll open the notebook and write down weekly or mid to long term goals.

7. Take breaks and learn when to stop

The hardest thing about being a developer is to step away from the computer, especially if we're in the middle of developing something or stuck with a problem. I've solved a lot of problems and had best solution when being away from the keyboard.

I hope that the few steps above helps someone in becoming more productive.