By Joshua


The important question for software developers: how do we boost our productivity? We'll draw insights from Ali Abdaal's book, 'Feel-Good Productivity', and explore how these strategies can advance our careers and coding skills.

Get the book here! It's a better way to think about productivity.


1. Reducing Friction:

With twenty years in technology, I've learned the significance of reducing friction in our workflow. The goal is to simplify our processes.

For example, a script that automatically sets up your development environment can save precious time.

Or, keeping a software architecture book near your coffee machine for a quick read. Spotting and smoothing out friction points, in code or daily routines, is a game-changer for any developer.

Look for ways to automate your life... so you don't have to think about it


2. The Concepts of Play, Power, and People:

Abdaal's book emphasizes 'play, power, and people.' Let's break these down. 'Play' means experimenting in coding without the stress of perfection.

'Power' refers to taking charge of our projects and career paths. 'People' is about teamwork, learning from peers, and networking.

As developers, incorporating 'play' can transform our approach. For beginners, think of coding as a game where each challenge unlocks new abilities.

For the experienced, trying a new programming language or framework can refresh your skills and enjoyment. It's about turning work into an adventurous learning experience.

Look for creative ways to enjoy your time,

surround yourself with people who give you energy.

3. Enjoying What You Do:

The book highlights a mindset shift towards enjoying coding. If you're learning, don't see coding as a discipline but as a habit that blends into your daily routine.

View each session as a step towards mastering a skill, solving a puzzle, or understanding how things work. This approach fosters motivation and makes coding more engaging.

Check out the Developer OS template to boost your productivity.

4. Avoiding Burnout:

As developers, we're prone to getting absorbed in our work, but remember to take breaks. Studies suggest breaking every 60 to 90 minutes to maintain problem-solving efficiency.

Regular breaks, from short ones during work to longer ones from coding, can refresh your perspective, especially for learners.

5. Teaching Others:

Sharing your knowledge is key. You don't need to be an expert to teach.

Whether it's a debugging experience or a performance improvement trick, sharing helps others and reinforces your own understanding. It’s also a stepping stone for career growth.

You only need to be 10% better to teach someone.

6. Tracking Progress and Taking Ownership:

Document your learning, contributions, and teaching experiences. It's crucial for recognizing your growth and staying motivated.

Owning your work, from choosing projects to initiating tasks, moves you from a passive role to an active creator in your career.

7. Energizing Through Interactions:

Interaction is energizing. In the dev world, it could be collaborating, networking, or contributing to open-source projects. 

Their positive energy will help you stay motivated - whether you're a junior engineer looking to learn more or a senior developer looking to take on your next challenge.

That about wraps it up.

That's a quick tour of how 'Feel-Good Productivity' can be applied in software development. For more depth, I recommend Ali's book.

It's not just about being productive; it's about enjoying the journey.

Thanks for reading this. Don't forget to head over to the YouTube Channel and share your thoughts on the book or how you apply these lessons. Sign up for the newsletter here for Software Engineering tips.

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