By July 22, 2022

5 Ways Programmers Can Increase Their Overall Productivity

programmers increase productivityDo you ever find yourself looking at your workload, wondering how you’re going to get everything done in time? You might be surprised to hear that it’s a really common issue.

Programmers are notoriously busy. While it can be a good problem to have, the last thing you want is to feel overwhelmed by work. That can lead to excess stress and burnout. You might even end up resenting what you do when you feel buried by it.

Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to boost your productivity and get more done each day. By being more efficient, you’ll accomplish more of your tasks without feeling overwhelmed. You’ll even be able to strike a better work-life balance.

With that in mind, let’s dive a little deeper into how you can develop productive habits, take things off your plate, and increase your overall productivity without sacrificing quality.

Stay Organized

Staying organized will help to boost productivity in just about any industry. However, it’s particularly important for programmers and developers, especially when it comes to digital organization. Programmers must rely on their emails to communicate with their team and clients while also managing their personal calendars to meet their daily goals.

When you take a look at your upcoming deadlines and every task you have to do in a day, it can feel overwhelming if things are all jumbled up or you’re not sure where to get started.

One of the easiest ways to organize your work is with a flow chart. As a planning tool, flowcharts can help you organize your daily workflow, acting as a blueprint during program design. Additionally, you can use flowcharts to:

  • Provide better documentation
  • Keep yourself organized in the debugging process
  • Make complicated information easier to understand

You can either create your own flowchart or take advantage of online programs and templates that will allow you to customize based on your needs. Some online charts even allow you to collaborate with co-workers so you all stay on the same page. This is ideal when several people need to be aware of project steps at once.

For example, you can visually represent the steps in a system, including loops, inputs, and outputs. This way, if several programmers are working on a project, they have a reference guide. The arrows and short captions can guide them in the right direction and avoid potential error. If this is a solo project, it can serve as a reminder for you or a point of reference if something comes up causing you to be out of the office.

Secure Your Work

As a programmer, you’ve got an advantage compared to other people when it comes to cybersecurity knowledge. You might even be able to create your own “systems” for keeping your work safe. However, cybercriminals are getting craftier than ever, and it’s essential not to get cocky about your security efforts or forget to keep them in place.

If you do, you could risk losing all of your work and having to start over.

Make sure you’re taking advantage of different network security solutions, including options like:

  • Virtual network services
  • Managed security services
  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection

Having multiple security solutions in place can offer you peace of mind and make it easier to get your work done without constantly having to worry whether it might get wiped out at a moment’s notice.

Take Breaks

It’s easy to assume that taking frequent breaks would kill productivity. But, when done the right way, taking breaks throughout the day can actually boost your energy, improve your concentration, and make it easier to get back to work with newfound inspiration and motivation. Even 10-minute breaks every hour can refresh your mind and allow you to grab food and water.

Stop worrying about being lazy, no matter how big your workload becomes. Take your time with things rather than rushing through them. When you start to take that pressure off yourself, you’re less likely to feel stressed about what’s in front of you, and things will be easier to handle.

Without excess stress, you’ll have an easier time getting things done—without the risk of feeling resentful about your workload.

Keep in mind that there’s a difference between taking breaks for your well-being and taking them to put off work. For example, if you consider yourself a perfectionist, you might use breaks as a way to procrastinate. Unfortunately, that can kill your productivity, rather than give it a boost. Recognize your motivation for taking breaks, and you’ll end up getting more out of them.

Utilize Automation

While automated coding isn’t necessarily new, there are still plenty of programmers who aren’t taking advantage of it. Automation isn’t here to take over your job. It’s here as a useful tool to help you, increase your productivity, and take away a lot of daily pressure and stress.

The more you’re willing to automate, the less overwhelmed you’ll feel at work.

What you choose to automate is completely up to you, and should be based on what needs your attention and what could be done without your constant supervision. Consider the tasks you don’t enjoy doing and think about how the code might be able to do the work for you. What are you willing to “give up” that doesn’t need your eyes on it at all times?

For example, you may look into providing some low-code automation for tasks that other departments can handle. Marketing departments may currently look to you to edit the company website, but providing them tools that will automatically make these updates, like color changes or text, can enhance efficiency and take those simple tasks off your workload.

While you can still check in on your automated efforts, you might be surprised by how much more you can get done by utilizing technology as a co-worker.

Avoid Multitasking

When you have a lot on your plate at once, it’s tempting to multitask and work on more than one job. However, that can cause you to become distracted and confused, and can actually make it likelier to mess up multiple projects at once.

Not only can multitasking with code make it easier for things to get jumbled, but it’s also not great for your brain health. Studies have shown that regularly trying to multitask and focus on more than one thing at a time can lead to problems like:

  • Memory loss
  • Behavioral distractibility
  • Reduced cognitive control
  • Increased stress

In general, multitasking actually makes you less efficient. You’re better off focusing on one job at a time and ensuring it’s done correctly. It will be more rewarding, less confusing, and you’ll have more confidence knowing you’re giving your all to each individual program.

You Can Get Everything Done

If you don’t see your workload slowing down any time soon, don’t sweat it! You can chip away at everything you have to do without getting overwhelmed by stress or feeling like you’ll never dig yourself out of that hole. When you feel responsibilities piling up, look to automation of mundane tasks, organization with flowcharts, scheduled breaks, cybersecurity practices, and finding ways to avoid multitasking.

Keep these tips in mind to increase your overall productivity. More importantly, keep them in mind to prioritize your well-being. By utilizing these suggestions, you’ll also enjoy less stress and increased mental wellness. This allows you to give each of your programming priorities the focus necessary for stellar results every time.

About the author

Charlie Fletcher

Charlie Fletcher is a freelance writer passionate about workplace equity, and whose published works cover sociology, politics, business, education, health, and more. You can find more of her work on her Contently.