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ZacharyP
ZacharyP

Posted on • Updated on

Programming Productivity

This post was originally written on my blog


I Know..

..there are a million ways to optimize writing code, but how do you know what ones actually make your life easier?? Easy you read this article and I'll tell you..

https://c.tenor.com/YctxttUmGMYAAAAC/forehead-slap-slapping-forehead.gif

The real answer is you play around with stuff and see what you like and what you don't. I just wanted an excuse to talk about some of the things that have really helped me out as someone who is brand new to the development party and want to get up to speed.

Take better notes

This sounds simple when you say it out loud and looks different for everyone but taking good notes is more than just jotting down some stuff in a notebook you never look at again. This is a shameless plug for Notion as that is the tool I have used for note taking since the beginning and it's what I am most comfortable with but their are plenty of other tools that serve the same function. Check out this blog by NTask to check those out.

Notion provides me a way to link together any content revolving around a topic/project in one place, which for a scatterbrain like myself is key to being able to keep my focus which in turn helps me write code faster and more efficiently. Check out August Bradley on YouTube my set up is derived from his videos. Notion has tools that make it easy to capture the information as well making the research process easier not having to slow down and enter all that information yourself.

I tend to scrape as much information as I can into the bucket while I am researching a topic and then trim it down later leaving me with just the good bits and I don't have to have a 1000 chrome tabs open just one neat and organized Notion database.

Lose the battle, Win the war

We have all been staring at our screens, 4hrs deep, completely bewildered at why this little thing does not want to do what we tell it to do, nothing build breaking, and likely something no one notices but you but it is all consuming like a blackhole where nothing else gets done. Does this sound familiar??

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This may be a tough one to hear but.. it's ok, letting that issue go is the first step at fixing that other bug no one notices but you. All jokes aside I struggled with this for a long time in more aspects than just coding and it is a daily struggle to not get sucked into that vortex but it has immeasurably increased my overall programing speed.

I use a system now that if the issue is not breaking the site and I have spent more than 30 min with no progress, I drop a TODO down and come back to it once I have finished building out what I can. check out Todo Tree a great vsCode extension I use to handle that.

Take a break and a drink

...Seriously go do that I'll wait.

This goes hand in hand with the last point. I know that everyone reading this has experienced this moment where you are so focused in anddddddd it's tomorrow, you haven't eaten since who knows and water seems a distant memory, breaks? never heard of them.

I commend those who can work like that but for me my brain is mush around the hour and a half mark if I don't step back and take a break. I try and take a small break every hour or so to look away from my screens, get a drink, and stretch. I tend to have some of my most insightful thoughts about a project I am working on in those moments.

What about you?

Was this helpful? Am I blowing smoke?? Want to yell at me about how I missed an important point???

Find me on Twitter, GitHub, LinkedIn, Dev, Portfolio and let me know!

Until next time!

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