Productivity tips for web developers for efficient time management

We at Usersnap have a long experience in developing web applications and want to share our thoughts and knowledge how to work more efficiently on web projects/products. Read our best tips about reducing the time spent with each project and getting done more of a project in a shorter period of time.

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We want to encourage you to find out which concepts/ideas work best for you and let you save some time in your web development cycle.

Where to begin?

There a lot of things which have to be considered during the entire web development process. Project plans, concepts, designs, development, testing and many more things. In this article we take a look at a variety of tips that help you managing your time more effectively.

Manage distractions

Email, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Slack, Whatsapp and so on. We’ve all been there and we all know how distracting these channels can be. Believe it or not, all these notifications shooting across your screens are giving you a hard time concentrating on the things which have to be done.

2.8 seconds and you’re out

A conducted study by Erik Altmann at the Michigan State University found out that a distraction lasting 2.8 seconds already leads to an 100% increase of your errors. This means that even a short distraction leads to a massive increase in your errors.

We recommend taking a couple of minutes each day managing potential distractions:

  • Close unnecessary applications
  • mute non-relevant notifications
  • clean up your desk (yes, even a cluttered desk influences your concentration)
  • Set scheduled breaks for answering your emails

Put yourself on productivity time

Managing your distractions also means managing your social interaction with friends and co-workers. Being regularly distracted by co-workers of course, influences your productivity. It doesn’t mean that you should bury yourself from social interactions. However we recommend giving your co-workers friendly signals when you’re approachable and when you’re not.

We’ve seen this note on the facebook page of the german tech magazine t3n where the second screen is used to show colleagues if you’re on productivity time or not – even if this example is not that friendly 😉

Productivity tips for web developers

Give yourself time limits

Working on a product or project means breaking down the set goals in deliverables. Managing these deliverables also means knowing how long a particular task should take.

We at Usersnap experienced that setting a time limit around each task will give you some productivity boost. A sense of urgency helps you to improve your focus on the important tasks which needs to be done.

Which time management technique for web developers?

We recommend encouraging your team to use time management techniques like Pomodoro. The Pomodoro Technique allows you to break down your work into intervals, separated by a short break. Each interval normally last for 25 minutes. The concept aims to improve your productivity through taking short breaks in between.

Make clear that the “pomodoro breaks” allows you to read mail and do other communication tasks. One should not be interrupted too often.

Of course there are further concepts – such as the Definition of Done for example. From our experience, the definition of done is a great concept to follow when analysing your tasks and things which needs to be done. The concept ensures that your web development team is actually delivering features/tasks which are truly done, not only in terms of functionality, but also concerning the quality of the feature. Fur further information please have a look at Dhaval Panchal’s article of the Definition of Done concept.

Stay focused

A lot of us are quite ambitious in accomplishing a lot of things in the shortest possible time. There are a lot of tools for different tasks out there which let you focus on the single thing which needs to be done at the moment.

GitHub for example introduced more than a year ago an interesting focus tool for web developers – the Zen Mode. Don’t switch between mails, browser tabs, open files, etc. The Zen Mode allows you to completely focus on writing. The Zen Mode is available for creating and editing files. Just simply use the Zen Mode Button working in GitHub:

zenmode-github Productivity Tips for Web developers

So what’s next?

Staying focused and managing your time well cannot be achieved just by installing a new fancy tool. Instead we recommend starting with cleaning up your notifications and managing your daily distractions. Of course, there’s no silver bullet which solves all time management problems. However, different concepts – such as the Pomodoro technique or the Definition of Done – allow you to improve your productivity in web development.

We are interested: How does your time management for web projects look like? Drop us a line!

PS: next week we will come up with a blogpost about the improving your project communication and organization. Stay tuned 😉

This article was brought to you by Usersnap – a visual bug tracking and screenshot tool for every web project.

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