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As software engineer works remotely becomes a new norm, how to be prolific is an important thing we should all think about now, it's not only because the job itself, but more important, it keeps us from burning out when the border between work and life is getting blurry.

Here are three tips to keep you productive:

1. Take 10 minutes to settle everything down before you start your work.

There is always one thing can prevent you from concentrating on your work. Maybe you forget to pour yourself a coffee, maybe you wander around different apps just to get the right music playlist that matches your working vibe.

Take 10 minutes, get yourself a coffee, check the tickets you're going to work on today, pick a music playlist (Sorry, but no podcast, I will explain this later), or even make your working desk clean and tidy. The biggest enemy for being productive is distraction.

This 10 minutes preparation will defintely bring you more time to focus on your upcoming work.

2. Make your working enviroment Do Not Disturb friendly.

The second tip is to keep yourself not being disturbing by anthing or anyone easily. Turn your Do Not Disturb mode on, keep your phone face down or even put away from the working desk.

We usually consider ourselves good at multi-tasking, but actually we are good at switching the concentration, and everytime we switch the context, we will need more energy to recap the previous work's context. Our willpower is just like a muscle, it will get tired easily when frequently switching between different things.

If you are used to listen to music or podcast during the work. I strongly recommend just listen to music, when listening to podcast, you're actually taking others perspective, you are draining your willpower without you even noticing it

3. Work on the hardest task first and give your brain a positive feedback

As we mentioned above, willpower is a mental muscle, it will be tired and exhausted. So here comes our third tip for productivity: Do the hard task first, it can be a complex system design, solving some critical issues, or writing some important docuements. Leave most of your willpower on doing the important things first.

And don't forget to reward your brain with a positive feedback, it can be really simple, like strike through a todo list item on the notebook or any todo list app. Make it feel like playing a game, the funnier it becomes, the easier for you to move on to the next new task.

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2022 ❤️ Frank Tsai