Time Management Strategies for Software Developers

By Jessica Mitsch Homes ● 08/07/2023

Time Management Strategies for Software Developers

By Jessica Mitsch Homes ● 08/07/2023

Ranked the #1 job by US News & World Report, the role of software developer is in a constant state of demand and evolution. Organizations are making conscious efforts to become digital-first, and software developers are at the heart of making this happen. With a heightened utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning applications, developers are also tasked with overseeing, organizing, and improving these tools. Additionally, software developers are among the many professions with expanding hybrid and remote workplace opportunities 

All these factors contribute to the importance of time management in a developer’s day-to-day routine. The recommendations and strategies for time management below will guide software developers to better time management practices and a more productive workday.  

Strategies for Time Management

Set Goals

Time management is all about being efficient and effective with time, and without a clear sense of direction or a communicated target objective, even the top software developers will struggle to work to the best of their ability. Setting goals, both for the long and short-term, will provide employees with direction and give their work definitive meaning. When creating objectives, it is recommended that goals be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. Developers should write their goals down as part of their daily routine, even if the aim seems trivial. Research has shown that writing goals down on a daily basis makes people 42% more likely to achieve them. Ultimately, the accountability that a software developer can derive from goal setting will contribute greatly to successful time management. 

Prioritize Tasks

Developers will struggle to set goals if they have not prioritized their responsibilities. Naturally, tasks at work will hold varying levels of importance, difficulty, and urgency and will function on different timelines. Taking into account these core metrics to prioritize tasks will contribute to better time management, productivity, and results. An effective tool for prioritization is to consider if a given task should be deleted, delegated, deferred, or done. Ordered from lowest to highest priority, these categories function as a simple way for software developers to transform a mound of tasks into a manageable, ordered task list.  

Stay Organized and Clean

Organization on all levels is a vital factor in achieving better time management. With so much of a software developer’s work being done on screen, keeping track of task progress and materials on an organized document, whether on paper or online, can save time and stress. One study found that people waste 4.3 hours a week searching for misplaced documents, and this lost time can easily be eliminated through better organization practices. On a similar note, a clean desk can also contribute to better use of time, with 94% of workers feeling more productive in a clean workspace. Preserving a clean and organized workspace and desktop can translate to improved time management.  

Take Breaks

When done correctly, taking breaks at work can be one of the most effective practices for better time management. Some managers see breaks as an unproductive use of time; however, studies have shown the exact opposite: taking breaks can increase productivity and decrease stress levels. Breaks should not consist of scrolling through social media or surfing the internet, as so much of a developer’s workday is already spent looking at a screen. Instead, developers should do things that rejuvenate and energize them, such as going outside and getting some sun, eating a healthy snack, or socializing with other coworkers. All these activities can be completed in five minutes and can provide huge returns for better productivity, lower stress, and a healthier company culture 

Getting the Most Out of Developers

Software developers program complex code, upgrade IT systems, and deploy new software applications daily. Projects can be intricate, stressful, and composite. To achieve higher levels of productivity and better results, time management practices need to be discussed in the workplace. Taking these strategies for time management under consideration will lay a good foundation for developers to improve their work habits, employers to launch new work practices, and candidates to stand out. At Momentum, we can help further train and prepare candidates and employees to excel in careers in tech. To learn more about time management or our services, contact us today. 

Contributions from Aaron Messer

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