How to Be More Productive as a Software Engineer (It's Not What You Expect)

How to Be More Productive as a Software Engineer (It's Not What You Expect)

Enhancing Productivity in Software Engineering: Beyond Conventional Time Management Techniques

May 4, 2024ยท

4 min read

Working from your computer can have its benefits, yet being productive is more important than the working part. Because how many hours you work does not always correlate with your productivity.

We are going to analyze how you can enhance your productivity and work more efficiently, yet that doesn't mean you have to work less.

Pomodoro nonsense

Everyone here has heard about the Pomodoro technique, so let's get that out of the way because it simply doesn't work. In order for your brain to work at maximum performance, it needs to be in a state of flow, which we are going to analyze in the next paragraph. A 30-minute period is just not enough to achieve a state of flow. Also, in such a short period of time, you will cut your productivity in half because you won't even finish one task.

Flow State

Like a soldier has his gun, the programmer has his state of flow. Flow state can be achieved by wearing your noise-canceling headphones, removing all distractions from your environment like your girlfriend and your phone. Ideally, for some extra help, listen to some no-lyrics music. After 5-10 minutes, you will be fully immersed in your code.

After 7 years of programming, I can enter a state of flow just three minutes after putting my headphones on. The idea that you need one hour is simply not true. If you can't get into a state of flow quickly, you simply have a TikTok brain and you need to work on your ADHD.

Luckily for you, I am going to share some tips that will help you be more focused while you work.

Fixing your TikTok Brain

Here are the things I did to fix my TikTok brain and you should try them to. They will simply 10X your productivity.

Disable Notifications

Your phone notifications are your biggest enemy. Just disable your notifications for everything. Go into every app you have and disable sounds and Lock Screen Notifications.

Notifications are specifically designed to peak your dopamine levels for milliseconds so that you stay addicted to your phone. You simply can't look at your phone every 2 minutes for some useless notification. Only allow phone calls.

Delete Social Media

There is no reason to have social media installed on your phone. Even if you are a creator, just use your computer to upload your content. Also, you need to keep in mind to stop consuming content and only create.

If you want to consume content, just spend 30 minutes when waking up watching news or researching anything you want to later read or expand on.

Sexual Content

TikTok, Instagram, or even Reddit sometimes are full of sexual content. The only platform where you can choose not to watch any sexual content is X. Just ban a few accounts and boom, you are good to go. X's algorithm can be trained really easily by just banning a few people.

Sexual content can destroy your brain and will not let you focus properly long-term. Also, if you watch it willingly, it is kind of gay. Just block all porn websites from your firewall and at all costs, do not go on YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok where they are full of it.

Schedule Splitting

This is a kind of hack. Split your days into 2-3 parts of flow state working. Each time you sit at your computer to work, just wear your headphones and don't talk to anyone or do anything else for the time being. No phone, friends, or food.

Doing 2-3 hours of flow work 3 times per day is like working 10-12 hours of normal working. Remember, distractions are your enemy.

When not working, just do other creative things like exercising, reading a book, going out for coffee, or just relaxing with friends. That way, you will never burn out (burnout isn't really, by the way, I will talk about it in another article) and you will also have much more free time to learn other things.


Sleeping doesn't matter; anyone saying you need to sleep early is just being foolish. Just sleep when you are tired, and if you are not, just don't sleep. The thing I do, though, is take a quick power nap of 30-40 minutes.


In conclusion, boosting productivity as a software engineer involves more than traditional time management techniques. It requires cultivating a deep state of flow, minimizing distractions, and adopting a disciplined approach to digital and social media.

By implementing strategies like disabling notifications, eliminating non-essential apps, and managing your exposure to disruptive content, you can significantly enhance your focus and efficiency.

Remember, productivity is not just about working harder but working smarter. By refining your work environment and habits, you can not only increase your output but also improve your overall quality of life as a software engineer.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at, and I will respond.

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