One thing has come crystal clear over the last couple of weeks. Distractions can easily destroy your productivity.
I remember fondly the days when I would write hundreds of lines of code per day. Find a problem to work on and focus intensely on it for hours. Churning out features and fixes at a steady pace.
These last few weeks it feels like I barely manage to write 10’s of lines per day. Juggling multiple projects, getting messages on slack, emails, and meetings all add up to a massive amount of context switching, loss of focus and limted progress.
The scary thing is just how effective these distractions are at killing productivity. Judging by how much software I am writing now vs how much I used to write each day, these distractions have reduced my productivity by 10x. What would have taken a good focused day now takes a week.
It’s clear that something needs to change.
I have slowly started to add some distraction reducing software to my toolbox.
Concentration – this is a python script which will block time sucking websites.
For Slack, the unread notification is a constant reminder that draws me back to read communications. I changed the settings: https://get.slack.help/hc/en-us/articles/201675007-App-icon-notifications to hide this notification.
Email notifications similary are a way to keep drawing me back to gmail. I turned off email notifications to my phone and try to check email no more than 3 times per day.
Windy – an iOS app that I bought years ago and still use regularly when I need to drown out any noise.