There are good habit and bad habits that everyone has, and if you are in development or design, it can really affect how you work and perform. If you don't have good habits, you might not be able to stay motivated, focused, so I wanted to talk a bit about developer habits.
This is something I didn't do well when I was younger. I had a bad habit of eating a lot of fast food, like McDonald's or KFC. By eating things like 5-minute noodles, you don't have the nutrition you need to keep on going. It also meant that I would end up eating a lot of snacks. I tried to get a sugar high to try and get that energy, but it meant it was a short term burst, and it was bad in the long run.
It wasn't until my family helped me out to become better at eating well. What I did was starting to work on having more things like salads and fruit. I did this by having more fruits and veggies ready to go in the fridge, around my desk, surrounding myself with see so that if I have the urge or munchies, I pick a carrot instead.
This is something that has recently become a bad habit I need to work on. It almost gets addictive having the notification that comes through on twitter, facebook. What ends up happening is that in programming, you need focus, but the notification this social media platforms provide break that focus. You will be swapping your attention between replying to someone, to solving a problem.
I've been working on improving this bad habit, putting my phone on silent for an hour period where I can focus on only doing work during this time. I also turn my phone on Do Not Disturb after hours (after 7pm or so). I usually like to stop checking my emails until certain blocks in the day, such as in the morning, midday and evening, so I don't find myself trying to sort each one out ad-hoc without being able to finish my daily tasks.
It's one of those things required in order to finish off things properly. Project's arent just the fun phase where we might startup during the honeymoon period where things still are enjoyable and more or less easy. It's finishing projects off properly when the going get's tough when it's no longer as fun, but the project still needs to be completed. Unfortunately sometimes when things got hard, I didn't put in my best work, and I've tried to turn this around now. The goal and habit I have built over time is putting in the hard work, and my best effort no matter if it's fun or not, all the way through until the project is finished.
This habit is an interesting one, because there are so many things that we can be consistent about in development. I used to do a lot of learning, and this is hard for my because I could only learn so much per day. If I spent more than 4 hours, I wouldn't really remember or grasp everything. I changed the way I learn, and instead, I try to consistently spend 10-15 minutes to learn each day instead. The smaller amounts over a year meant I have accumulated more hours than I ever would of learn or remembered if I tried to force learn a subject in a week or month.
Consistency in working means that I combine my work ethic of hard work with my ethic of doing my best for every project I do. This means I can be proud of projects every if they are a grind to complete. It also means being consistent with working enough each day. I used to leave a lot of things to last minute, and this is a terrible way to do things in school/college/university, and especially so when you get into the real world of development. Being consistent and doing a bit of work properly each day will mean you'll be a better developer and people will see that work you're doing is on time if not earlier.
These are my thoughts on development and design. There is a great channel out there called @developerHabits which you can check out:
I'll be doing a collaborative interview with them which should be released soon about how I got into development and design, and how I swapped careers from doing IT previously into this field, so hopefully, you will like that when it's out.
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