Software Engineer Life Hack : Work on task in productive way

How to manage more than one task and finish it on time even early than deadline

Organizational skills are very important if you want to become better every day as a software engineer, also this skill can give natural but you have to learn and practice it. There are five of the following strategies to achieve it.

1. Focus on one task at a time

When you work on your task that more than one task, may be you will confusing and burned on about what should you work on first and how you can manage all of it to finish on time. During this time you have to forget about the deadline for a while and focus on finishing one task before jumping out into another task.

When you focus on one task, you will have fully concentrate on it and your brain will focus think about the pathway to finish it event you just work on it for one hour, it will help you to make the plan in your mind. Also with high focus, you can finish tasks more early than the deadline.

If you do more than one task at the same time, you will use more of it for transitioning from one task to another task, let's say if you work on one feature then you have to commit or stash it before changing the branch to the second task when you move to the second task you also will spend on your time to build it and rebuild concept and plan.

Concentrating on one task at a time until it is complete will help you increase your productivity because when you focus on one thing at a time, you just have one objective and give 100% of your effort for it.

2. Make Prioritize

Let's say you have 3 tasks in one sprint, how to set priorities for it?

You have to understand deeply how difficult and how much effort for it. Maybe you wondering what is different about difficulty and effort. yes normal questions and I will answer them, the difficulty is the things that you do not face that things before, it means you will take a lot of time to try and error and when it is solved maybe the code is just 10 lines of code, how about effort? the effort is the things that you already know will take a lot of lines of code, maybe it is easy because you just have to set up the layout but the requirement is more than 3-page which means you have to test every single page to make sure there is no unproper view like margin, padding, etc.

Alright based on the explanation above, I will make the flow to finish it 2 path based on the level of the task. in this scenario, you assume you have two weeks for one sprint.

1. High, Medium, Easy.

For this scenario, you have to manage it with this step :

  • Task High in the early day (from 9 AM until 3 PM)

  • Task Easy in the rest of the day (from 3 PM until 6 PM)

  • When the task High already finish, now is time for the Medium task

  • The flow of the Medium task is the same as the first flow you have to work on it in the early day and an easy task for the rest of the day.

2. High, High, Medium/ Easy

For this scenario, you have to manage it with this step :

  • Task High in the early day (from 9 AM until 3 PM)

  • Task Medium/Easy for the rest of the day (from 3 PM until 6 PM)

  • When the task High already finish, now is time for another high task

Focusing on your high task first and it will be the most time-consuming before another task will help you stay more focused that working on medium or easy tasks.

3. Manage your energy

Your energy is limited for a day, you can not have the same energy at 6 PM as your energy just after you wake up at 4 AM, the more we work in the day the more energy we consume.

in step 2 why I mention working on the biggest task in the morning because at that time you are still on fire and still have a lot of energy and your brain can think and solve problems for the difficult case that need more energy and mind mapping. In the rest of the day, the task is medium or easy to can do because in this task you do not have to think as hard as the high-level task.

4. Drink Coffee, less sugar or no sugar at all

Coffee can make your brain more focused, convert your fat into energy and make you have awareness and not sleepy during work time. I will explain in a scientific way why coffee can maximize your potential brain.

  • Caffeine can increase serotonin and acetylcholine will make your brain stabilize the blood-brain barrier. It will help your brain is awake and able to focus for a long time.

  • Adenosine in the coffee can give you a surge of energy and will improve your mental performance.

  • After 4 hours of drinking coffee, your metabolism will increases and it will burn your fat to the energy. with a lot of energy, you can stay focused and not be tired.

5. Take ideal rest

It is okay to take a break when you feel burned out but very important to manage it properly. Based on my experience the best way to return your energy is by nap in the lunch break. Let's say you have 1 hour for a lunch break. you can use 30 minutes of sleep and 30 minutes the rest to eat your lunch. The nap is very important because it will give us better retention, focus, and overall emotional health.