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Cover image for 10 Ways Developers Can Invest Time Instead of Wasting it

10 Ways Developers Can Invest Time Instead of Wasting it

ilonacodes profile image Ilona Dee Codes Originally published at ilonacodes.com ・6 min read

In today’s, in the past and probably in the future world — the time is more valuable than money, and the right time waits for no one. Hence, we have to make the most out of it to succeed in life.

Time is an extremely scarce resource.

Every one of us has 24*60=1440 minutes a day, and totally about 28000 days to live (that’s how many days an average person lives since being born). And by the time you read this, you may have already lost significant chunk!

Developers can organize their day, maintain a busy schedule, feel very bored and unfulfilled, and never have enough time. Why so? Because often, the tasks they are doing throughout their day do not excite them or align with what they want—their goals and dreams.

If you don’t work towards your dreams and goals, you aren’t investing your time in yourself—you are wasting it.

Wasting time is a choice, and it’s one that is entirely within your control. It is really important to make this choice on purpose (and not accidentally) and use your time effectively.

That’s why you should try to make each minute of each day count because every minute you sit idly doing nothing or wasting time, there is someone out there working hard towards the same goal gaining the edge over you.

Moreover, making better use of your time is also saving time. I had to learn how to manage my time effectively and productively because I procrastinated a lot in the past.

And here are some straightforward strategies that you can use to utilize your time better and feel much more fulfilled, energized, and happier:

🎯 Set goals

When you have goals you want to achieve, you are less likely to waste time on things not related to those goals: everything you do starts feeling that it has a purpose.

Besides, it’s crucial to establish processes and systems to achieve those goals!

A process is a step-by-step action that helps you efficiently and systematically reach your goals. Not having a process is worse than not having a plan.


💎 Prioritize things

Most developers have thousands of things (projects!!!) going on at any one time. The key is to focus only on what matters the most to move you toward your big goal.

You should align your time with your big picture priority. Everything else should go on the do-not-do-list! Here is how Warren Buffet approaches it.

“It’s said that a wise person learns from his mistakes. A wiser one learns from others’ mistakes. But the wisest person of all learns from others’ successes.”—John C. Maxwell


🙅‍♀️ Say “No”

Here I am still in the development process, but it has already become much better. I say “no” much more often today.

When I have inquiries of any kind or even my own project ideas, I always reflect on this principle: if you say yes to this, you automatically say no to something else. Because you can only do one thing at a time, is this thing more important than other things for achieving my goals?

This way, whole kinds of projects or requests fall through the grid—the filter which recognizes what really matters for me, for my most critical resource—my time.


📆 Less calls, less meetings

Time is an incredibly valuable asset in a product company, and especially in a startup business. When you spend the day sprinting from meeting to meeting, the time flies by.

In fact, most meetings are pointless. Some people like to attend meetings for the sake of meetings. Hence, you could cancel 70%-80% or more of them, making no difference in your work.

Meetings might interrupt the workflow of individual contributors like developers and designers who need to concentrate for extended periods to deliver tangible value for the product. As a result, the working day of developers can turn into a long evening spending in front of the laptop while trying to mark some of those overdue items off their TODO-list.

Still, meetings are an essential function of communication on the team; that’s why it’s crucial to decide whether every scheduled meeting is worth your time before joining it.


📬 Time for emails

I don’t answer all emails immediately. I have a fixed time limit for emails; usually, I look at them just once per day, because answering emails and dealing with Slack/Teams messages can be scheduled just like everything else.

The power of time blocking for emails comes in choosing when you do this task instead of disturbing your focus and decreasing your productivity every moment of your day.

For example, Elon Musk uses the time blocking method to go through “critical emails” each day.


🤖 Automate things

We are programmers; we naturally don’t like routine and doing repetitive tasks. If it happens to us twice or more, we are looking for ways to automate it.

Especially in finance, this can be important. For example, automatic tracking of your expenses is one thing that can lead to financial freedom; it can be used to reduce our spending by tracking our expenses to free more cash from your dev-salary monthly investment.

To learn more, you can get my top-15 cash-freeing tips cheatsheet for developers.


🚀 Be in the moment

Thinking about the past is pointless. Our whole life is ruining because we think much more about the past and future.

In the meantime, you can forget about the present.

The “now” is more important than anything:

  • You always have to focus on what you can do now, rather than what you can do in the future.

  • You always have to focus on what you have now and what you could do with the thing you have now.

“Live life for the moment because everything else is uncertain.”―Louis Tomlinson


📊 Don’t swap money for time

And also don’t overspend money on useless things. Because the more you spend, the more time you need to recover this resource.

Our income is indeed limited by time. Basically, we trade in 8-10 hours/day for income and have to wait years before obtaining the necessary job promotion with a fair chance that we may not get that promotion.

That’s why it is necessary to stop swapping money for the time by:

  1. Changing your mindset around earning and spending

  2. Building an asset that scales (like a side project that will bring passive income)

  3. Using your “passive” money and savings to make you more money—start investing or growing your side hustle

There are so many different ways to free money for investments without overworking or thinking of getting another job.


⚡️ Ignore distractions

We live in a modern world where it is incredibly easy to get distracted, for example, via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Such interruptions cost not only precious productive hours but also valuable effort and energy. Instead, invest your time in more important things that will make you closer to your goals and dreams.

You can learn more about how to prevent distractions and sharpen your focus by reading the “7 Proven Strategies for Overcoming Distractions” article.


🤯 Stop letting other people’s opinions control you

When you have to formulate your actions according to others, it actually wastes a lot of time too.

It can prevent you from doing the things you want to do or being who you truly are. Basically, you will tie yourself to the yo-yo of what other people think of you.

“The trouble is you think you have time.” – Buddha

You have better things to care about than the opinions of others on you because life gives us enough to deal with as is.


Conclusion

Time is the most valuable asset you own. Once it is gone, it is gone.

Forever.

Invest your time into making yourself a more knowledgeable and smart person, working for something that will pay you off today or tomorrow.

Become a Pro at time management, stop undervaluing your time, stop swapping it actively for money, and instead start investing your time into a variety of assets, including yourself.

Soon you will be able to have the 4-Hour Workweek.


Thank you for reading! 🙏

Live your best life, Ilona.

Posted on by:

ilonacodes profile

Ilona Dee Codes

@ilonacodes

I help developers to condense finance + investment knowledge via my tiny newsletters (+1000 readers) 📨 Get top-15 tips on how to save more cash monthly 👇

Discussion

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That’s why you should try to make each minute of each day count because every minute you sit idly doing nothing or wasting time, there is someone out there working hard towards the same goal gaining the edge over you.

Wow, looks like life is some kind of competition for you. That's a very unhealthy way to live.
Beside, comparing yourselves with others will always lead to disappointment.

There are millions of developers in this world, you can talk to almost all of them on the internet. One of them WILL be better than you at something you're doing. Comparison == Poison.

If you don’t work towards your dreams and goals, you aren’t investing your time in yourself—you are wasting it.

What if my dream is "wasting" my time ?
I feel this pressure to work towards "dreams and goal" to be a red herring for a very toxic culture.

and instead start investing your time into a variety of assets, including yourself.

I'm not an asset. I'm a human being.

Soon you will be able to have the 4-Hour Workweek.

Why would I want to work 4 hours ? I love my job so much ! I can't envision working only 4 hours on it. Looks like you're encouraging people to look towards the destination rather than the journey. Seems like a mirage to me, but to each its own.

 

Life is a competition. Just ask Darwin. Go ahead and waste your days but one day you will realize that's not a viable long term strategy.

OP isn't saying to be a slave to work. She starts with the true assumptions that most of us must earn income. So how do we do that most effectively, thereby leaving ourselves time (and extra money) for leisure.

This is a post explicitly about time management for work. If you don't want to work, you shouldn't have even bothered reading it.

 

Life is a competition. Just ask Darwin

Pretty sure that's a huge stretch from Darwin.

If you don't want to work, you shouldn't have even bothered reading it.

Yet you are the one trying to earn more money to work less 🍹

Go ahead and waste your days but one day you will realize that's not a viable long term strategy.

"Time you enjoyed wasting was not wasted" - John Lennon

All in all you seem to have a very negative ootlook on life - But you know, you can progress as well with the carrot instead of the stick.

You're quite the mind reader. Everyone but you apparently has a negative outlook on life. Good luck with not working and telling people what they think.

 
🙅‍♀️ Say “No”
Here I am still in the development process, but it has already become much better. I say “no” much more often today.

When I have inquiries of any kind or even my own project ideas, I always reflect on this principle: if you say yes to this, you automatically say no to something else. Because you can only do one thing at a time, is this thing more important than other things for achieving my goals?

This way, whole kinds of projects or requests fall through the grid—the filter which recognizes what really matters for me, for my most critical resource—my time.

this quote is beautiful for real i got so many project even thought i can do all of that saying no to some of the project is actually necessary you know even thought i love coding but at some point its really crazy to do all of that at once

 

I truly understand you!

Developers are very curious people and eager to learn new things through project implementations. Still, at the same time, we have energy and willpower limits on how much time and capacity we give for each new project.

 

Don't forget: Time is just an illusion! So stop fighting against it. There is no such thing as a waste of time only experience you don't get the point for yet. You define the value of anything. You are your own god within your own world. Anything you do, you do for a reason. So you are not even able to waste your time. Funny and sad, isn't it?

My advice: JUST HAVE FUN AND IF YOU DON'T JUST CHANGE WHAT YOU DO TO SOMETHING THAT GIVES YOU FUN OR LOVE OR WHATEVER MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD!

YOU ARE AWESOME!

 

I second this. We just have one life so we have to balance things in it. But always have fun and also invest time in you and the ones you love.

 

In my opinion I got as many lives as I want to. What do you think how you entered this life? By coincedence? I believe by love and I am not alone. Do your research and let go the YOLO curse! Love to everyone!

Well my response is for those who believe that we have just one life. Remember we need to accept any kind of beliefs and religions. We are all here in this rock!

That's right. I always thought of death as then there is nothing and nothing but once you see and experience death for real and come back to life you will understand. Either in a trip or at least when you die and your body releases all your DMT. Happy tripping down here.

 
 

Developers, don't believe in "happy path projects". All of them have some point of failure that will make you waste your time. Say no if you realize that it is a time consumer and not an investment. It's easy to get in and hard to get out.

 

Good points.

As designers and developers I think we have the power to change people's lives through technology.

I'm on my way to find some goal in my life - something I can do to feel more valuable in this world - and I think I can apply some of your tips in my current life to have more time and money to think about life and do what I really want to do for a living.

 

“Don’t swap time for money.”

Definitely a mantra to live by. Solid tips!

 

Thank you IIona!

The most important one is saying no to everything, I suppose.

Peace,.

 

You are welcome! Yes, we need to learn to say "no" when it's necessary.

 

Hi This article is very wonderfull

 
 

let's see if I will be able to buy the book later

 
 

I agree strongly with this. Nobody gets anywhere impressive by just doing the average. But people love to justify their laziness. If everyone put 100% effort into what they were doing literally everything in society would be better. Inspiring words.

Happy button-pushing.

 
 

Your articles are so precious. Thank you!

 

Thank you so much 🙏 I appreciate it!

 

Some really useful points there. Thanks for writing this!

 

I am glad you liked it! Thank you 🙂

 

Part of moving towards a 4 hour work week to to allow for people to relax and unwind. Constantly moving and thinking isn't the best idea either!