When you’re working as a web developer, time really is money. The more efficient you can be, the more projects you can take on, and, more importantly, the more time you will have to spend on other things in your life that you enjoy.
Because of this, it’s important you learn how to be more productive. Plus, getting more done in less time feels good and makes work a much more positive aspect of our lives.
However, as we all know, being more productive is much easier said than done. You need to really make it a priority in life and work to establish habits that make it easier for you to be efficient. But there are also tools and other strategies you can use that will make a big difference.
For example, making sure you have the best internet connection you can have will make a big difference. Less time waiting for things to load means less wasted time and fewer opportunities to get distracted.
Beyond that, here are some other things you can do to help make yourself a more productive web developer:
Use Tools to Help You
One huge benefit of being a web developer is the massive community that exists out there that’s entirely focused on supporting other developers. This cooperation has led to the creation of a lot of different tools that are really useful and will be a big help in improving productivity.
Perhaps the most essential is a web development framework tool. Of course, these aren’t perfect, and some of you may complain about what might feel like excess code, but in reality, they are huge time savers.
Building frameworks adds ages to the timeframe of a project, and often feels repetitive. Using pre-built frameworks will allow you to skip this step, or spend way less time making just a few changes, which means you can speed up delivery of a project.
Development frameworks are just one of the many tools developers can use to automate certain parts of the job and speed up the time needed to complete a project. Find out what areas of your work are slowing you down and/or are repetitive and see if there is something out there that can free you of this task and allow you to be more productive.
Having the right tools on hand is important for improving productivity, but you also need to have a good approach to your work to be able to really maximize your efforts.
The first thing you will need to do is figure out a system for organizing your different tasks. Web developers wear many hats, and while this makes you useful to a lot of people, it also tears you in different directions.
Successful programming requires periods of intense focus, and if you’re constantly being moved from one thing to the next, the amount which you can get done in a given window is going to decrease over time.
Another thing you will want to do is organize the things you need to do your job. A great example of this is making a library of code. When doing similar things on different projects, there’s no reason to keep rewriting the same code; having it stored somewhere for you to just copy-paste can save loads of time.
When making this library, make sure the code is well-sorted and searchable so that you can access it quickly and move onto the next thing.
Care for Your Body and Mind
Web developers can be under a lot of pressure. Clients, eager to grow their business with a stellar website, put a lot of pressure on you to get the job done in a timely manner. But stress is not good for anyone, and the more stressed you are, the less productive you’re going to be.
As a result, to maximize your output, you need to make sure your mind and body are healthy. Plus, programming requires a good amount of high-level mental functioning, which means your physical state will have a big impact on your performance.
Probably the two biggest things for web developers to focus on are eating well and taking breaks. Programming is a consuming activity, and hours can disappear while you’re working on a project. This intense focus is good, but not if it comes at the expense of your mental and physical health.
Make sure to take frequent breaks — every hour or less — to move around, stretch, grab a snack, or just stare out the window for a few minutes, before returning to the task at hand. This quick reset does wonders for the mind and body and allows you to get more done over time.
Also make sure to regulate your meal times and avoid excessive snacking. Eating too much while you work draws blood from the brain and makes you slower and more lethargic.
If you must have something, go nuts or fruit or something similar that is going to give you energy as well as other valuable nutrients needed for better performance.
In addition, take this one step further by making and sticking to a “close of business” time. There needs to be a point in the day where you disconnect and begin focusing on something else. Otherwise, you will never switch off and this will cause stress to accumulate, hurting your overall productivity.
One does not become noticeably more productive overnight. It takes time to adapt new habits and improve on certain practices. But if you take into account what we’ve discussed here and try things out, knowing you’ll need to make adjustments along the way, you’ll soon find you’re able to get much more done with your time.