Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

27

Multi-tasking is deemed bad; so indeed, stay coding... Figure out how to make your code compile faster, a very interesting thing to look into. Figure out how to need less edit/complie cycles; defensive programming can help you avoid bugs. Use Test Driven Development, so that you need to compile the tests rather than the whole product. Think about the next ...


26

The core explanation can be found back in the physics of our brain. The brain's neural networks are made up of nerve cells that exchange pulses via synaptic connections. Unlike atoms in a crystal, which are arranged on a regular, cubic lattice, nerve cells grow synaptic connections in a highly specific but irregular fashion. The team of researchers -- ...


19

I'm not a software developer so hopefully this question isn't totally ignorant, but if you're doing tens of edit/compile cycles a day and each compile cycle takes 10 minutes, then it seems like a good use of that time would be using it to work on shortening the compile cycle. You're talking about an hour of unproductive work a day--an hour I can see you ...


18

TL;DR: Multitasking is not what you are after, you should instead look for a system like GTD. I am finding it difficult to concentrate on different things. Do you really need to concentrate on different things at the exact same time? Whenever I do something I just get concentrated on that and all other things fall apart. This is something that ...


15

If I were cycling, I certainly wouldn't try to do very much other than stay on the bike and enjoy the view and the exercise. But podcasts are good; other thoughts come to mind as well -- language tapes and audiobooks, for example (I did some marathons a few years ago and burned through several audiobooks that way). Sometimes thinking about things you are ...


14

The human brain is a very, very slow computer. It does the same thing computers do to speed things up - caching. Most of our thoughts and opinions are (at least partly) cached. We don't go trough the whole reasoning process of why it is correct every time we give our opinion on something. That is why some people can answer so quickly - they already thought ...


14

How do I shut up my inner voice and speed up my thinking? What makes you think you have to shut up your inner voice? Couldn't you try to tune your intuition so that you make perceptive leaps of logic to get where you want to be? After all, the point here is to time your response so that it may appear like you aren't missing a beat but the reality is ...


14

Multitasking is hard. Let me change it. "Useful Multitasking is hard". It takes times. And one of the most important parts is your brain in this process. Human brain doesn’t multi-task like an expert magician; it switches frantically between tasks. In there, real problem occurs when we try to concentrate on the two tasks we are dealing with, because this ...


11

Multitasking may feel more efficient, but research has shown that it will actually reduce your efficiency. This is because multi-tasking is more like rapid switching between single tasks and your brain needs time to focus at each task switch. More on the multi-tasking myth from a computer science point of view can be found here So it's best to do as much ...


9

Email tends to be a time sink, in order to tame it, aim to keep an empty inbox, and only handle each message once. http://www.43folders.com/izero - deal with it at the time you read it, delete what you can, archive what you must. Anything you defer, put on your task list and get it out of your inbox (obviously, if you follow the GTD system, take a minute to ...


9

There are people who respond immediately to a question. It seems they don't think about it at all and it still give a great answer. The point is there, they know. They have a lot of experience on this subject. They work on this subject and they made samples. This is a very normal. Other way, some people born like this. They always ready to respond ...


9

The problem you're struggling with is one of the core issues addressed by David Allen's Getting Things Done. Consider the to do list items go to bank and work on thesis. Assuming your banking task is fairly straightforward, this is a simple action. The second is a several-year endeavor. When most people look at a list like this their mind is drawn to the ...


8

Decompress while it's compiling. Your right brain will continue to work on coding. Don't do something else productive. Watch some semi-lame movie that's barely enough to keep your interest. Read your rss feeder desultorily. Capture ideas and todo items that pop into your head during this time. A 10 minute break is nothing. Work out a little, stretch, walk ...


8

You can't. Both of those things require your attention. Which means either one will tune one out or do a poor job at both. There are other things that you can listen to a webcast during though without losing focus - cleaning, reading comics, driving etc. (Granted you still lose some focus, but it's not as drastic.) Programming requires a lot of ...


7

Very good question! I would like to add a suggestion that can easily be combined with all other sugegstion already given: optimize your computer! When I look at my computer while compiling, most of the time the CPU is not working as hard as you'd expect. Most of the time it's just waiting on the harddrive. Optimizing the hard drive can be done by creating ...


6

The whole idea of GTD context lists is to have a list of like-sized tasks that are actionable in your current context, so a well-implemented GTD system should enable you to fill these moments with productive work. Let's break that first sentence down to yield some more practical advice: like-sized tasks There's no right answer for how long these tasks ...


6

The first step is obviously to ensure you've identified the next actions for each project you're working on and put these next actions in to the correct context lists. After that, I think any attempt to establish--a priori--a method for selecting in which order you'll perform these actions is not only futile but likely counterproductive as well. Because a ...


6

Stephen Covey has a nice model for this, called the four quadrants. The quadrants are: Urgent and important tasks Not urgent, but important Urgent and not important Nor urgent and not important His books cover how to focus more time in quadrant 2. The more you focus on Q2, the less tasks end up in Q1. As a first step, devide your tasks according to ...


6

That would depend on the flexibility you have to do non-work related tasks. By keeping all your outstanding tasks recorded in an non-intrusive, immediately accessible system, within seconds you can find something to do. Personally I run a GTD style system and tag 'fill-in' type tasks with labels identifying how long they should take, like '0-5 minutes', ...


6

You'll be a better programmer if you have experience of multiple programming paradigms and different techniques (server-side, web etc.). That said, some programmers who know just one thing (like Cobol programming) will thrive because of great demand for such specific skills. To say that other development experience doesn't count for an iOS position is ...


5

Let me tell you what I have achieved while walking and cycling with my iPod. I learnt a new language using language audio books. I usually review that language (Norwegian) often again while I walk. I have listened to many books which I am not able to read due to lack of time. Audible.com became my good friend. The Teaching Company also have Great ...


5

Personally, I like using standing-height work surfaces for short intervals. I work for a little and then walk to get a drink and come back. It gives me the benefit of walking while being able to write. I haven't fully converted to the standing desk movement, but I'm considering it. Standing for long periods definitely takes getting used to. That being said, ...


4

I find that doing simple, easily interruptible, and absolutely non-work-related things, usually online (skimming the news, looking for interesting stackoverflow questions but not actually reading them in detail, social sites), makes returning to the original task much easier than if I try to work on another project or even a different part of the same ...


4

Break down each project into what needs to be done. Once you have the lists of next actions for each project, grab one from each (they should be small enough to knock out in a single work session) and knock them out. If the progress management wants to see is weekly or such just keep your notes and put together info on how each has progressed. If you run ...


4

Prioritize your tasks in whatever manner , you like. If GTD seems to be a big thing to you, just make a simple time table. And then follow it. If you have six subjects, you can decide what subject you want to read at what time. Then follow this. If you have concentration problem, try following Pomodoro Technique. If you are working on a computer, you can ...


4

Something that I do at times is to work on two things: Work on project A until I reach the point where I need to compile/ask someone a question/something else that blocks my progress thread. So, I kick off that thread, and switch to project B and do the same thing. Typically the blocked thread will have cleared by the time I block on project B. It ...


4

You can't do the same kinds of task together, but you can sometimes do 'multi'-tasking as long as it is an entirely different part of your brain... For example, you can do a task that takes mental concentration, while doing a physical task that you can do on auto-pilot. E.g. Listening to a complex podcast, while jogging. Watching a TED Talk while washing ...


4

So my view is that your major problem appears to be not being able to estimate the amount of time each job will take... is that roughly right? If so I think it's something that we all struggle with - although if anything, I have the reverse problem, the thing I've been avoiding all week and feeling guilty about often turns out to be only four minutes ...


4

Short Answer: Focusing on one technology is better for getting a job. Learning multiple technologies is better for building a career. Decide which of the two is what you want, and go from there. Long Answer: Learning multiple technologies will make you a better software developer. No question. If you only focus on one thing, you'll be great at that one ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible