A little over two months ago my wife and I had our first child. I has been an amazing experience, and has changed my life forever. The biggest thing that has changed for me is I don’t have any time or energy anymore! I used to be able to work all day, hang out with the wife, get back to programming, get to bed about 2 am and wake up at 7 or 8 am and do the whole thing all over. Now it seems like 8 pm hits and I am ready for SLEEP. This lack of time and energy has actually been a huge eye opener for me, and I feel like I am more focused, and actually getting more done in less time. I wanted to share my simple strategies for staying on task, and hopefully they can help you out.
Write out your tasks
It doesn’t matter if you are planning on working 1/2 hr or 12 hrs, write out what you need to accomplished. I work in an agile dev environment so I’m used to having my user stories/ tasks laid out, but I never planned out my day in this way. It is extremely helpful and having a plan helps me stay focused. It also makes me feel like I’m getting stuff done when I can cross stuff on my task off.
Try to remove distractions
I work from home, and when I’m in my office and the door is closed its like I’m not in the house. There are obvious exceptions, like if the baby became a poop/vomit fountain and my wife needs assistance or the house is on fire, but if its something small it can wait until work is done.
Reddit (Your internet weakness)
I have a serious reddit addiction, and its crazy how fast minutes can turn into hours and hours into days browsing reddit. It’s not just reddit though, working as a web developer and being online all day can be challenging especially if you are self employed, work from home, or don’t have a boss that is able to see your screen. There is a great chrome extension called stay focused that can block sites and is really configurable.
Don’t forget to take some time off
One of the worst things that can happen to your productivity and overall mental well being is getting brunt out. This is one of the most challenging things for me to do. I am always thinking about work, and wanting to get a little extra work in to help get ahead in a project. I’ve found that when I do take one or two days off I am focused and ready to get work done.