Developers: Distraction comes with the job.
As a developer, what’s your most useless tool/platform? I know mine and its not facebook.
Whenever I set to start a project, I have this imaginary drafted schedule that I can finish an app in one sitting.
This is too serious. Pic Credit: StarWars.com
Let’s start. I’d go online and scaffold Angular, React, Vue, Ember and Laravel all in one folder, then I have that feeling it will need a mobile app; here goes Ionic, NativeScript, React-Native, and Electron included.
Finally, I am about to start the actual application, I checked my time and already it 2:00 am.
Pic Credit: ReactionGifs
I have some tweets I have to reply, also someone just commented on one of my github issues and this is probably the right time to reply to some of those emails.
By the end of all these it already 4:00 am and I need to report early at work, my boss is already complaining about my late comings.
Before we continue, this is worth mentioning, I read here.
“Most of the time multitasking is an illusion. You think you are multitasking, but in reality, you are actually wasting time switching from one task to another “
— Bosco Tjan
Now about your most useless tool, by now I’m guessing we know that already.
Just because we have access to the internet we download all the text editors online and every IDE we come across we install.
Do you know, you do not need the internet?
Pic Credit: Jennifer Plates
Your one single important asset to diverting distractions and completing a project is nothing but approach. That old saying about the first impression matters, you should know it applies to everything.
Distraction begins the moment you sit with your computer.
One thing to note is that everything is a distraction until you make use of it at the right time in the right way.
GitHub: We spend more time browsing through GitHub than we spend on coding. It opened permanently on your browser tab, maybe a good thing but I have no idea why. You do realize you can use git and many other similar tools to push codes, which is preferred when you are done coding and it off the browser. Hell, we have automated tools for that.
Trello: Like seriously what are you tracking, your coding process or the codes? It has nothing to do with the moment.
Slack: You will agree this is only useful if you need to tell your colleagues about every line of code while you code. I can’t even see a reason why that should be.
If we don’t use our tools accordingly they become our biggest problems. Hey, I know I didn’t mention the big guns, because we don’t even need them here in the first place. The more reason why they were categorized as Social Media apps. So leave them to their names.
In case you missed it, some of these tools are meant to be used when you are done with a project not while you are working on a project.
Okay, let’s talk about it.
What is a distraction? A google search will tell you it something that takes your attention off your goal. I agree.
Then, in my case, let’s define the goal and not a distraction.
Before my definition of A Goal.
Let’s go back to the beginning of this article. Why are you still up by 2:00 am?
A Goal is An observable and measurable end result having one or more objectives to be achieved within a more or less fixed timeframe. — Business Dictionary
So, Definition of Goal
When I said definition, I meant you defining the goal of your project. Let start there.
- What is the project?
Some of these are not your job but know it and own it, Know what the project is about, who is the target audience, what is the name of the project and Determine the size.
Set duration, when to have an MVP, when to prototype, when to test and when to lunch. More like create milestones.
- Talking about milestones.
Break down the project to the smallest pieces, as Business Dictionary defined goal observable and measurable, you can best achieve this when you break it down.
- You are good at this but ask for help.
More like you do not need to do everything yourself. Get ready to get stuck.
- Know Why.
I know this may sound repetitive but the point here is: Is this a professional project, a side project or a learning project. This will help you decide if you should use a stack you are conversant with, a stack you want to experiment with or a stack you willing to learn.
Everything is a distraction!!! Seriously I mean the emphasis but be comfortable with your tools, use them appropriately and believe me that is the start of shunning distraction.