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Mikhail Karan
Mikhail Karan

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Productive Developers Build Good Habits

What is HTML All The Things?

HTML All The Things is a web development podcast and discord community which was started by Matt and Mike, developers based in Ontario, Canada.

The podcast speaks to web development topics as well as running a small business, self-employment and time management. You can join them for both their successes and their struggles as they try to manage expanding their Web Development business without stretching themselves too thin.

What's This One About?

This week, Mike and Matt sat down to discuss how good habits can make developers more productive. The duo go over how habits are not a one size fits all situation, but instead should be tailored to each individual that is looking to boost their productivity - whether that's simply setting up a meal plan, choosing to cut off your work hours at a certain time, or just getting to bed the same time each day - we are all different, and so not every habit is best suited for our unique needs.

Show Notes

What are habits and why are they important?

  • Habits are set behaviors or routines that we perform almost instinctively (subconscious)
  • They are usually formed after long periods of repetitive tasks
  • There are both good habits and bad habits
    • Good habits
      • Showering every day
      • Brushing your teeth and flossing everyday
      • Eating healthy
    • Bad habits
      • Biting your nails
      • Eating too much
      • Sitting too long
  • Good Habits can take you disorganized routines, unproductive days and struggle to learn, and flip the script.
  • Find the motivation that you can use to start establishing a new habit
    • For me it is being more productive so that I can complete work faster and have more free time
    • My goal is to go down to a 4 day work week of 6 hours of work a day
    • I can’t do that overnight, and it would be irresponsible to just flip that switch and leave my clients with less production for the same amount of money
    • This is why I dove into building better habits

I took stock of my day

  • I initially didn’t change anything, I just started paying more attention and recording what I was doing
  • I noticed that while I do have sections of productivity, they were not consistent
    • One day I might have deep work for 3 hours and another only 1
    • The time between my deep work sessions was random and some days I would go with no deep work
  • I would get distracted easily by notifications that could be coming from clients
    • I would almost cringe and anticipate that any ding (email, discord, skype) could be coming from a client that needs urgent help
    • Of course most of these dings were unrelated to work but they would still derail me
  • My YouTube was almost always open and playing videos that would distract me
    • For me YouTube isn’t the best background noise, I’m too interested in the videos of the creators I subscribe to
  • My meeting times were random throughout my day and would derail me before and after the meeting
    • It would take time for me to prep for a meeting and also wind down from one

How I started to change my routines/habits

  • When I was productive I noticed that it was usually when
    • I wasn’t expecting any calls/notifications (after or before work hours)
    • I was fairly calm/relaxed
    • I had something fun planned for after work
    • My working session was planned out with a accomplishable* todo list
  • I took these findings and started to try to ‘emulate’/adjust to them
    • I would tell clients/team members I’d be unavailable at certain times
    • I would do something relaxing before starting (reading, going for a walk, cleaning)
    • I’d plan some time to hang out with my wife or friends after work
    • I started to write small todo lists before starting a working session
  • I started to create a morning routine
    • Wake up, make breakfast for my wife and I
    • Do yoga
    • Make coffee
    • Check my todo list
    • Do w/e for 15-30minutes
  • I created a after work routine
    • Check todo list
    • Create todo list for the next day
    • Commit and push all code
  • I started to notice when I’d get distracted
    • Instead of going on reddit or YouTube I’d get up and do something else (clean, shower, pushups)
    • I turned distractions into something positive
  • I started to write days off
    • Every once in a while I’d have a bad day where nothing would go right
    • I started to recognize when that was happening and just stop work for that day
    • This usually resulted in a ultra productive next day as I felt rested and didn’t feel bad for the day before


  • Start tiny
  • If you can’t focus, get up and do something else
  • Keep task management super simple
  • Set short spurts of focus initially (10-20min)
  • Create a simple morning routine

Books Mentioned

Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg
Atomic Habits by James Clear

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Discussion (2)

codewithfan profile image

Looking forward to listening to this episode!

mikhailkaran profile image
Mikhail Karan Author

Hope you like it!