Productivity tips

Take Breaks

Nobody can stay focused for eight hours a day without taking breaks, not even highly focused people. There are many kinds of research done that are showing that taking a break at least a few minutes long can help you to feel more focused and come up with new ideas. There is one famous technique for taking breaks called Pomodoro Technique that uses a tomato-shaped timer to measure time. It works with 25 minutes time blocks with 5 minute short breaks and 10 minutes long breaks. The Pomodoro Technique is so much popular in the developer community that there are even Pomodoro Apps you can use it.

Eliminate Distractions

Distractions are the biggest enemy of productivity not just for developers but in every profession, so you need to find a way to ignore them as much as it is possible. For example, often checking work-related stuff like emails, chats, etc, can be seen as work-related but spending too much time on these things will make you not finish anything at the end of the day. So the best thing is to make some patterns, for example, to check emails two times a day, switching off notifications from social channels, etc

Break Down Tasks Into Smaller Tasks

Most of the way then we see some hard task it looks too daunting and we want to skip it somehow, you look at the task and think “I don’t even know where to start.” I bet you hear about divide and conquer algorithm, here we can reuse the same principle for the work-related tasks. For example, if you have a task that says "write a blog post on productivity" you can break that task into smaller parts like: "look for keywords related to productivity", "Find 5 examples of productivity posts", etc.

Start With The Most Difficult Task

Almost every developer has some hierarchy of daily tasks in some sort of to-do list. If you focus on simply checking off to-do list items, you’ll end up with a mix of important and less important tasks completed. This habit can also expose you to spending the whole day checking off easy, less important to-dos instead of finishing some of the hard stuff. Instead of doing this, you should spend a couple of minutes at the beginning of your workday to chose a couple of most difficult tasks and do them, no matter what, you need to finish by the end of the day.

Take care of yourself.

Forgetting to take care of yourself is a common issue for entrepreneurs.

  • A Fitbit or similar device will help you stay active, monitor your sleep and eat right.
  • Try out a financial service like Mint to track what you’re spending.
  • Use a virtual assistant like EasilyDo to help you stay on top of your schedule.
  • Set up a few triggers on If This Then That to stay relevant on social networks without having to manually post.
  • Finally, download an app like that allows you set and track goals like increasing productivity, improving your health, etc.

Share resources.

There are so many tools out there to help you share notes, ideas and even files. Try out Google Drive or Evernote as a start. For larger items like images and video, try Dropbox.

Collaborate and manage projects.

Trello is a great option for growing businesses struggling to manage it all. You get integrated file sharing, project management, workflow automation and centralized communication from any device. Also check out Slack or Pivotal Tracker as alternatives.

Alias for long commands

Aliases come really very handy in Linux bases OSes. They provide too much productivity benefit. Here I will show you how to create an alias. And how it is used. I will be using a long git command git [ diff –name-only ]. This is one of many commands I use on a regular basis. or [ git add . && git commit -m “my commit message” && git push ] that adds, commits and pushes the code remote server. Navigate to your home folder by typing in the following command.

cd ~  # navigate to your home folderCode language: PHP (php)

Next we will open the .bash_aliases in nano with the command below.

nano .bash_aliases  # open the file in nano text editorCode language: PHP (php)

Next we will be adding example command here.

alias gdno="git diff --name-only"
alias refresh="source ~/.bash_rc"Code language: JavaScript (javascript)

The code above are two separate things. [ gdno ] will execute the command [ git diff –name-only ] in the current directory. But what about the command just below that ? Well you’ll see it in a bit. Next we will need to refresh the current terminal with the command below.

source ~/.bash_rc

See, the above command is mapped to [ refresh ]. It is because the terminal must load the functions and variables from .bash_rc. And since the .bash_aliases is included in .bash_rc. We will be reloading the main configuration file for terminal. From next time you can just type [refresh] and your terminal will autorefresh.

Also Read: How to learn programming and where to start ?TECHENUM

Automate Outlook 365 and Your Other Favorite Apps

If you use the Office 365 Business or Office 365 Enterprise editions, you can connect Outlook to over 750 other apps and streamline even more email workflows. For example, you can send new emails you get from a specific sender to Slack or create a new Trello card for new emails sent to a specific Outlook folder. See all the Office 365 integrations available on Zapier or use one of the workflow templates ("Zaps") to get started right away:

Use Quick Steps to Take Instant Action on New Email

If you’ve had success with the previous Outlook tips and are interested in getting into more advanced email management, it’s time to take a look at Quick Steps. Quick Steps allow you to automatically perform long strings of actions based on a trigger. Say at the end of the month you receive a series of invoices from vendors or contractors. Your normal process is to review the invoices, forward the invoices to your accountant, and create a reminder to follow up with the accountant a week later to make sure the invoices were paid. Quick Steps can take care of the last two steps for you with fewer clicks than if you performed the tasks manually:

  • Click the "Create New" button in the Quick Steps section of the Home ribbon.
  1. Give the new Quick Step a descriptive name, and select the first action: "Forward."
  2. Type your accountant’s email address into the "To" field.
  3. Click the "Add Action" button to select the second action: "Create a task with attachment."
  4. Click "Finish" to create the Quick Step. After you review an invoice, you can now execute the Quick Step to forward the email and create a reminder task. Select an email containing an invoice, and click the appropriate Quick Step in the Home ribbon. The email forward and task windows will open automatically. Click Send to forward the email, and set a due date and reminder for the task before saving, if you'd like. There are many different ways to use Quick Steps to speed up email processing. Spend some time thinking about the repetitive actions you take on emails, and set up Quick Steps to make managing your emails so much quicker and almost painless.