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3 Tips to Beat the Development Deadline

4 New Member
Deadlines looming and just can’t get enough done at work? Try these 3 steps to organize your working day and deliver your projects on time.

Tip 1 - understand your environment

Workplace distractions, wanted and unwanted, eat away a developer's day. Identify the distractions that have the largest time cost - the approximate number of minutes that the distraction keeps you from your daily work goals. Use 5 or 10 minute time increments to make your time estimates easier.

Rank the distractions from the largest time cost to the smallest. Eliminating these distractions is the ideal goal. In reality many distractions are difficult or impossible to get ride of. Focus on reducing the time cost for your top 3 distractions until their time cost is halved. Identify and rank your distractions again, then work on halving their time cost. Repeating this process will eventually keep your controllable distractions to a minimum.

Tip 2 - know yourself

Do you go for a coffee break when your code just won’t compile? Do you find it easer to code in the morning or afternoon? Where/when do you come up with your best ideas?

Knowing your development habits will improve your efficiency. How? Let’s take as an example my co-workers Tom. Through trial and error Tom found that morning and midday were his best times to code. By mid-afternoon Tom found new coding problems harder to tackle. Tom found that mid-afternoon was a better time for his design and documentation tasks. By late afternoon Tom was ready to tackle coding again.

There are days when Tom only has coding tasks. Getting through these days can be tough, especially for people like Tom! All is not lost. The trick for these days is to rearrange your tasks, in Tom’s case he would schedule the tasks that require the most focus and attention at the start of his day. Tasks that are less mentally intensive are left for later in the day.

Rewarding yourself is a good way to keep up your motivation and focus levels. Try to keep rewards in the form of project tasks that you really enjoy. This type of reward is work focused unlike coffee breaks or surfing the web which can becoming distractions. Knowing when to reward yourself is also important. Do you work harder if the reward is before, between or after a difficult set of tasks?


Tip 3 - divide and conquer

With your distractions out of the way and your development habits in mind you are ready to divide up your project. Identify the difficult tasks and your reward tasks and make a “to-do” list for the coming week. Set daily objectives each morning from weekly task list. These objectives may be completing tasks or completing a section of large tasks. Keep the objectives small and realistic for one work day. Move any uncompleted tasks from your previous day onto the top of the next day’s task list. If you are not completing all your set objectives each day reexamine your distractions, development habit and task list for areas for reevaluation.

As you get better at these three steps you will find more completed objectives each day and the deadlines will become easier to meet.
Nov 10 '08
12 41031
links123
1 New Member
for quality assurance such information is very useful i agree with it.
Jan 18 '09 #11
Bassem
344 Contributor
@kenobewan
That's true, once I solve a problem and get a trick down, I can go on and do more, but once I stuck with a wall whatever if small or not, I see everything as walls.
The problem is I can manage time only if I'm inside the good area.

Thanks for the nice tips.
Jun 3 '09 #12
tpgames
785 Contributor
For the procrastinators out there, the trick I found, is to learn how to force yourself to do "opposite to emotion". Basically you tell yourself "I have decided to [insert task that must be done]. " Then, do the task. It often takes several refocusing selftalks, but overtime, these become less and less. I can now write task lists and I get my programming done faster.
Jun 13 '09 #13

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