How to work smarter

Photo by Minh Pham on Unsplash

I get it; in the tech world, the pace is relentless, and the stakes are always high. We’re often tempted to put in insane hours, thinking that’s the path to success. But let’s talk about playing it smarter, not just harder, and how that can make a huge difference in your professional life.

Some meme I got from LinkedIn 😀

Memes can be helpful. But sometimes we need more information. I saw this meme on my LinkedIn feed. Looks good, but sometimes we need context. So, let’s break it down.

Here’s a few ways for us to be starter at work:

Start with a Weekly Plan

Picture your week as a coding project. You wouldn’t start writing lines of code without a clear structure, right? So, why approach your week any differently? Crafting a weekly plan is like sketching out the architecture of your upcoming tasks. It gives you clarity on what needs your immediate attention and what can wait. Trust me, tools like Trello can be a lifesaver here, helping you visualize and adjust your plan on the fly.

Disconnect to Make Real Connections

Now, here’s a radical thought: turn your phone off for a chunk of the day. I know, I know, we live by those notifications. But when you need to crack a tough problem or dive deep into a new language, that’s your cue to go offline. Set aside ‘focus hours’ and let your team know when you’re off the grid. It’s about setting boundaries that enable you to do your best work.

One Task at a Time

Multitasking might sound impressive, but it’s a productivity killer. When you’re coding or troubleshooting, give that task everything you’ve got. This singular focus can lead to deeper understanding and better results. Plus, it’s pretty satisfying to check off those big tasks one by one.

Prioritize Like a Pro

You’ve got a ton of tasks on your plate, but they’re not all equally important. Have you tried the Eisenhower Matrix? It’s a simple way to sort your tasks by urgency and importance. This can be a game-changer in deciding what to tackle first in your tech role.

Keep Everything in Order

Organization can make or break your workflow. And I’m not just talking about your code being well-commented (though, please do that too). Keep your workspace, both physical and digital, clutter-free. Apps and tools that keep files and emails in check can be your ally in this quest for order.

Results Over Hours

In our field, the end product often matters more than the hours it took to build it. Set goals that are about what you produce, not just the time you spend. Think performance improvements, features added, bugs squashed – that’s the real measure of your impact.

Routine is Your Friend

Consistency is key. A solid routine can be your anchor in the stormy seas of tech work. Whether it’s checking server statuses every morning or backing up your work before you log off, stick to your rituals. They’ll help you stay on track and make your day more predictable.

Break Time is Sacred

Ever feel like you just can’t stare at the screen any longer? That’s your cue to take a break. Regular pauses are essential. They’re not just good for your eyes, but also for your brain. Try the Pomodoro Technique or just find a break schedule that keeps you fresh.

Finish Strong

The lure of the ‘next big thing’ can be strong. But there’s something to be said for following through. Make sure you’re not leaving a graveyard of unfinished tasks in your wake. Completing what you start is satisfying, and it builds a reputation for reliability.

Automate the Mundane

Lastly, let’s talk about automation – it’s like the tech professional’s magic wand. Find those time-sucking repetitive tasks and automate them away. It’s worth the upfront effort when you realize how much time you save in the long run.

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