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Personal Productivity for Developers


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Getting in the zone is harder to do these days with the infinite sources of distractions that are readily available. In this talk, I’ll give you a framework, tools and actionable tips to help you become more efficient, both in work and play. I will draw on my experiences as a family man, college student, developer, business owner, employee and manager using techniques I’ve learned reading countless books and articles in the area of “Productivity”. The end goal is for you to have the focused time needed to do the things that you are passionate about, whether that be writing awesome software or spending more time with friends and family.

Published in: Technology, Business

Personal Productivity for Developers

  1. Personal Productivity for Developers Elmer Thomas Hacker in Residence @thinkingserious
  2. The Goal
  3. Summary Frameworks Techniques Tools References
  4. Frameworks: RPM Specific and Measurable Results Motivate yourself with Purpose Create a Massive action plan with specific actions
  5. Frameworks: GTD Main Elements of GTD Projects Next Actions Contexts
  6. GTD Workflow
  7. GTD Natural Planning Technique Purpose / Guiding Principles Why are we doing this? Mission / Vision / Goals / Successful Outcome What does success look, sound or feel like? Brainstorming How will we accomplish it? Organizing When will we do these things? Next Actions Where do we start?
  8. GTD Weekly Review Captured, but unprocessed items Review projects & next actions Review calendar Review checklists Review someday/maybe lists
  9. GTD High Level Analysis Areas of Responsibility 1 - 2 year goals 3 - 5 year vision Life purpose
  10. Frameworks: Getting Results the Agile Way 3 outcomes for the year the month the week the day
  11. Agile Work/Life Balance Define Hotspots e.g. Career, Family, Health, Personal Growth Set minimums for each Hotspots e.g. 3 hours of exercise time per week Monday Vision, Daily Outcomes, Friday Reflection
  12. Frameworks: 18 Minutes Day Begins: (5 Minutes) Set Plan for the Day Throughout: (1 Minute / Hour) Refocus Day Ends: (5 Minutes) Review
  13. Techniques: Pomodoro decide on the task to be done & estimate the # of Pomodoros set the pomodoro (timer) to 25 minutes work on the task until the timer rings; record with an x take a short break (5 minutes) every four "pomodoros" take a longer break (15–20 minutes)
  14. Techniques: Digital Truth Dashboard It’s the Dashboard to rule all Dashboards Central point of all your “stuff” Either link to resources or describe where they are This dashboard should be easy to use and available most anywhere Automate it if possible using RSS & APIs
  15. Techniques: Zone Hideouts Schedule appointments with yourself Noise canceling headphones + music Signage The “Hacker Brow” Growl and/or grunt Not this zone!
  16. Techniques: Checklists Daily routines (morning/night) Weekly routines Monthly routines Anything you will do more than once Create checklists as you work
  17. Techniques: Templates New Projects Think scaffolds Perfect, then automate
  18. Techniques: Outsourcing / / / / / Genesis Themes 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss Jack Bicer -
  19. Techniques: Hackathons Find partners / Barter services Upgrade your skills Practice and sharpen existing skills Directories:
  20. Tools
  21. Tools: Feedly News/Information Filter Sync with apps (Reeder) Not just for blogs Use folders to segregate & focus
  22. Tools: Email GMail Filters SendGrid Incoming Parsing Event triggers
  23. Tools: Mind Maps MindNode Pro / XMind mind mapping brainstorming
  24. Tools: Screen Capture Jing / Snagit Skitch
  25. Tools: Text Snippets TextExpander / Active Words avoid typing common items faster than a clipboard or text file
  26. Tools: Google Apps docs for quick collaborative sharing sites for a centralized dashboard calendar for shared time management google hangouts for quick video meetings google talk for IM gmail for easy implementation of inbox zero
  27. Tools: Social Media filtered news via lists alternative to RSS networking
  28. Tools: Social Bookmarking Delicious / Pinboard global bookmarking crowd validated reference
  29. Tools: Readers Instapaper / Readit Later / Pocket defer your reading, offline Kindle / iBooks / GoodReader / Audible / Downcast read or listen on the go
  30. Tools: Notes Evernote / Onebox / OneNote everything box across all platforms multimedia notes + OCR offline access
  31. Tools: Storage Dropbox / / Google Drive easy synchronized storage keep your larger files at bay automated backup email large attachments
  32. Tools: Security 1Password / RoboForm / Keepass / LastPass save time and be secure don’t use the same password everywhere
  33. Tools: Launchers Launchbar / AppRocket fast application launcher and file finder stop dealing with clicking icons
  34. Tools: Meetings / Google Hangouts / OpenTok + Twilio API free and easy screen sharing and conference calls save commute time
  35. Tools: Todos/Tasks Omnifocus / Toodledo GTD implementation See what you want, when you want Pivotal Tracker / Assembla / Asana Agile implementation A structure for practicing agile Great for collaboration
  36. Tools: Hardware Laptop / Desktop Mac out your SSD & RAM Keyboard / Input Device Tablet Smart Phone
  37. Continued Learning
  38. Continued Learning Getting Things Done, Ready for Anything, Making it All Work 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus ReWork, Getting Real Do the Work, The War of Art Upgrade Your Life: The Lifehacker Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, Better Creating Flow with OmniFocus Safari Bookshelf Online
  39. Continued Learning Back to Work The Big Web Show Mac Power Users Mixergy GTD Study Group *iTunes U Your Niche
  40. Key Takeaways Be action oriented towards measurable specific goals Find how to achieve zone time more often Move towards balance Create a custom system and iterate often
  41. “You can have it all. You just can’t have it all at once.” - Oprah Winfrey
  42. Thanks! If you have any questions, reach out, I’m happy to help! @thinkingserious