Distractions, Context Switching, and Disjointed Tools
ZenHub have quoted me in an article posted on developer productivity. You can read about distractions, context switching, and disjointed tools on the ZenHub article Become a Productive, Distraction-Free Developer.
If you are having major problems getting some focus time, you could try some of these ideas that I have used in various teams (different ideas work in different contexts…)
- Nominate one person each week to be “The Disturbed”. They handle all interruptions and shield everyone else’s focus. A big arrow pointing at the current nominee helps everyone go to the right place and avoids the classic distruption: “who is The Disturbed this week?”.
- Make sure you give people a regular time where their questions can be presented without being an interruption. The lack of this known “good time for questions” will mean they happen at random times.
- Pomodoro Technique. A disciplined system of work and rest designed to aid productivity. Watch out for the mistakes I made when I first tried Pomodoro Techique.
- Avoid blocking developers from accessing important development resources. Implementing a web proxy that thinks Stack Overflow is a forum and MSDN in a blog – and therefore shouldn’t be looked at during work hours – if frankly ridiculous.