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Cover image for How I improved my work hours

How I improved my work hours

k1pash profile image Christopher Toman Updated on ・5 min read

Key points

  • Use your environment, make it as much beautiful as you can. Your room is your fucking castle, it should forfull all of your needs and in now way, you should be hating it. If you hate it... take a laptop and move to a different room.
  • Use activity tracker like Activity watch or Procrastitracker.
  • Separate your active socialmedia "life" and try not to distract yourself with it.
  • Create an app that kills all processes based on a list of names.
  • Use ToDo lists.
  • Use git and check the commit history for time to time.
  • Schedule your day, designate daily gaming routines. Make it even something you love, for example, some Co-Op games. Lovely to be with other people.
  • Try to sync your schedule with your friends so you won't lose the tempo so easily.
  • Create a routine, wake up early or around evening, eat junk food or healthy, whatever keeps it simple for you. Run or don't run. Cook or paint. Watch a movie. Have a designated hour of learning new crafts. Make the day as rich as possible. Define what's important for you and then fill up the rest. Do something, don't just waste your day.

  • Whatever drives your mind, don't use heavy drugs tho, nootropics might be ok.

  • Fuck endless scroll lists like Facebook, Instagram, Reddit or Twiter. Maybe there are some exceptions, but if all you are seeing are kittens and babes. You're at the wrong place.

  • YouTube is a double-edged sword with one side significantly sharper than the other. Search for an extension to block it based on some rules, time perhaps. Listen to music on Spotify or Soundcloud. Turn off "Autoplay". Create a new account only for music.


My story

Hey, I would like to address what helped me to get from the state of not doing anything to the state of at least doing a bit.

Clarification

I can split my improvement into two categories:

Long term - this means I'm able to work longer and in one long session. And in general, being more consistent.

Short term - I'm able to start working on the spot without any distraction.


Long term

I'm not a concentrated person all. I can think of one project and a minute after ... I start to plan some other. So in general a good rule is to really figure out what's important for you. Is it finishing your job assignment or some sexy hobby project? Here I guess enters discipline. You have to be straight with yourself. "Fuck this, I'm doing what's needed! I'm not focusing on any other bullshit...".

If you can finally stop thinking of 5 projects at the time, or you don't have this problem... let's move to the next topic.

Retrospective feedback
I would advise you to get some sort of a tracker which tracks what apps are open and for how long. Based on these you can see how are you behaving. You might discover that gaming before work is worse than gaming after it. In general, seeing these patterns is useful!

For example, this is Procrastitracker, an old app, which is not as great at filtering but for the general overview is fine. There are better apps out there, just search for them!. For example Activity watch!

My data

Based on the data you probably see where a lot of my attention goes. To my browser and discord. I'm in some gaming communities and it really distracts me a lot. This data shows that I'm shitty at concentrating. And I'm doing my remorse right now, with this blog post. I know what I can improve, I know what parts helped and what didn't. These issues I will address in the short term section.

Sense of progression
For longterm projects it happens to me a lot that I lose my motivation, I would advise doing as many different disciplines on the project as you can. One of the very helpful disciplines is to plan ahead. Use Trello or even a notepad, MS ToDo or Gitlab issues, it really doesn't matter.

Before, I did not understand what was the fuzz about ToDo lists, but man.. have you ever solved something hard and then had the ability to "flick-it" off <3 Your brain can shit itself while releasing some happy-making compounds.

Other than that, even looking at the commit history might give you some sort of overview of how much you progressed and that you don't even remember how the project looked like on the start.

Alright, now onto my magical gems...


Short term

All this is about eliminating what's bad. You already know a couple of stuff which are bad for your concentration. You can find more of them in the tracker data and so on. It's good to lay back and just think about the stuff you see.

Discord - I'm on well over 80 servers and I check actively from 4 to 7 servers. There's always something happening or someone to chat with. So first of all, logically, remove all the notifications and sounds, duh.

Music
So, if you still want to socialize, but still be concentrated, my suggestion would be to listen to music together. Even ideal is to create a room in which no one has the power to talk and only the music bot can speak. This way you can combine different music tastes and it's fresh.

Separation
If you need discord for serious reasons, but then there's the rest of the attention-grabbing servers. I would advise you to create a new account, so you can concentrate without any issues. But it might be silly to have two users on the server looking like this Billy 1, Billy 2 ...

Kill discord
The best option you can get! Just kill it. But I never had any good results when I had to manually kill it.

The killer app (killer of apps, perhaps?)

Alt Text

Very helpful was to make a simple console app that searches for running processes and then kills them. So far very efficient was to kill discord and steam. This helped me a lot. First of all the colour dictates a bit to my brain that something is happening. I usually leave the app running on a different desktop so I often forget about it and it's a good start. And secondly, you can extend it even more and add your custom stuff. Connect a lamp and change the colour. I would do that if I had smart bulbs <3.

Different browsers?
Maybe you could start using one browser for music, another for work and the other for socials and youtube. Might be interesting. There's a lot of good options out there. Opera, Brave, Firefox, Tor, Chrome. Even if you focus on privacy there's plenty of options.

and finally the biggest topic of all of this ...

Environment

I would kill for this to have it at home...
Alt text

The truth is, that mine might look closer to this...
Alt text

So think of a way how to change that. Move your PC elsewhere perhaps? Use a laptop? VNC? Extend the table's top desk with some spare planks, whatever and however you see any upgrade fitting, just do them!


Well, this was me, this is how I see it.

How do you see it?

I'm no professional nor an experienced developer. I just love what I do and I want to help others who are in the same situation to start doing something. To be simply happy and productive!

Posted on Jun 21 '18 by:

k1pash profile

Christopher Toman

@k1pash

I'm a game developer. My main drive is the joy of making something new, something that can entertain others. My long term goal is to release something, sooner rather than later.

Discussion

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Hey Christopher, thanks for sharing your thoughts here. Most of the things you mentioned works for me too. I am a remote worker so the lockdown doesn't have much affect on me but I do miss stepping out and visiting my coworking.

Having fixed work hours and a proper schedule really helps. The most important thing is to have a comfortable working space at your place and some peaceful time. For the later part, I used to go to a co-working before lockdown and these days I have changed my sleep schedule to avoid distractions during day time.

One thing I still need to fix is the social networking during work. Never have the twitter pinned in browser. :p

Well I wrote a bit more about what works for me here.

My Setup

 

Hey and thank you for your input! Nice article!

Ye, Twitter is evil. I think here would work well the concept of the "App killer". Where you would create a blocking extension for your browser in which you would check if the Killer is On / Off.

Might be an overkill. Stay safe.