Pragmatic articles on software development and management

Offload some burden from your brain and boost your productivity

Published on by fakiolinho

I ‘ve been asked a lot by colleagues and friends about the way I manage to stay focused and productive in the long run. This is a really tough question and I am sure that people out there use a great variety of techniques to accomplish this. Personally speaking, I follow a dead simple pattern.

Every night I spend a couple of minutes writing down all these things I need to deal with the day after. Some times I write down about ideas I have or even books and articles I would like to read in the near future. It’s like taking a backup and offloading some great volume of thoughts, tasks and ideas to an external storage. That’s it.

Simple? No matter how simple it seems, I have to admit that I spent some time till I figure this out and make it work.

How did I start doing so then? The reason was “awful sleep” due to stress probably. There were times in the past I couldn’t sleep that well or even I couldn’t really go to deep sleep while in bed for more than 1-2 hours.

Why? Tons of stuff were crossing my mind and I couldn’t control them. I couldn’t make them stop somehow or at least pause them for a while. This was killing me.

Sometimes I was thinking again and again about a technical problem I wanted to solve or about a super-urgent task I had to tackle right after getting to work in the next morning.

Many engineers tend to think about technical problems before getting to sleep. Unfortunately this is a harmful habit that forces lots of them to become night owls.

Having a bad sleep is a huge obstacle that prevents us from being productive. Since we make a living out of solving technical problems and algorithms then we definitely need to take care of this and provide some rest to our brain.

Don’t get mistaken, our brain is not tireless. We are human beings after all with certain limits.

To get back to my story, obviously this was quite exhausting for me so I had to find a way to leave my mind in piece and give it some room to breathe.

I started using a small notebook at first. It was like a brainstorm but really soon I realised how beneficial all this really was. My sleep improved a ton so my mood and my concentration improved also by far.

Finally, I could find some inner-peace and sleep tight because all these notes proved to be the glue between working days. I stopped being afraid about missing some key details or forgetting things and I was confident that I was about to continue from the exact point I stopped the previous day. Everything was already written down in the backup storage so I could access them easily in the next morning for further processing 🤓.

Recently I decided to start keeping a daily journal and take notes of my inner thoughts and experiences in order to learn the most of them. Why not right?

Life is out there so as long as we stay healthy and energetic, all these ideas, dreams, goals and tasks will be waiting for us to fulfil them. So keep track of them and let your brain rest regularly because you really need it in an excellent shape. Cheers!!