I have to admit, the title was a little clickbait. I didn't really ever track time for me to be able to tell how much faster I am coding. One thing I know is that I code faster now than when I started. A lot of that comes from me just getting better at coding and learning how to solve complex problems more efficiently. Still, there are a lot of other things, besides getting better at coding, that allow me to code faster. I will share with you a few of these different tips that I find the best results with.
Don't get me wrong, these tips won't save you a bunch of time and cut your working hours in half. That's simply impossible. On average, you'll be able to save anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half. It really depends on how well you spend your time currently. That might not be a massive time-saver, but why spend an hour extra if you don't need to. Or, if you are looking to get more work done than usual, an hour of extra time will make a pretty noticeable difference in the long term. Some of those tips and tricks I came up with by myself, others I picked up from other people.
The first and probably the best tip for most people is to stay away from social media. It's very easy to spend half an hour browsing your Instagram feed or watching YouTube without even noticing. Those apps are carefully created to quickly capture your attention by showing you the content you like and to hold that attention as much as possible. The more time you spend on those apps, the more ads you are going to see, which will result in them earning more money. So, those companies' job is to hold you as much as possible on their apps. A bunch of psychologists and developers carefully analyze all the app functions to make you never want to quit.
So, how do you resist that? How do you stay in control and don't let apps control you? The simples answer is to not play their game. As soon as you open one of the apps, they are in the control, and you are the one trying to escape. If you are not using the apps or using them as least as possible, there is no space or time for them to take control. I would suggest blocking or uninstalling social media apps, and only using them after you have done all your work for no more than one hour per day.
For blocking social media websites in your browser you can use BlockSite, which is a Chrome extension where you can set which websites you want to block and even schedule the time of the day when those websites will be blocked. For example, you can block websites in the hours when you work.
For blocking social media apps on your phone. I would recommend uninstalling most social media apps or only using them after your work. To make sure that happens it's best to go in the setting and turn on the focus mode, which will allow you to schedule the time when all of your selected apps and notifications will be blocked. Easier method would be just leaving your phone somewhere where you can't reach it so easily. For example in a different room.
The good thing about programming is that you don't need much equipment to start. You basically only need a working computer and an internet connection. Although you don't need much equipment, there are few things that are not essential but will benefit you in a long run.
The first thing that you'll definitely benefit from upgrading is your chair. You are sitting for 8 hours or more and having a comfortable chair to sit on will benefit your health and will make it more enjoyable to sit and work. You won't be coding any faster with a good chair, but you will be less likely to take a break or give up because you have lower back pain.
The chair I would recommend you to buy is the Jackgold gaming chair. It's not too expensive. It's very comfortable to sit on and has lumbar pillow support which will help you get rid of lower back pain. The seat can be tilted up to a flat 180 degrees. And as a bonus, it looks cool.
The second thing that you'll benefit from is a nice and comfortable desk. If your desk is really small, you won't have enough space to place all your stuff on it and you won't be able to sit comfortably in your chair. I would recommend this desk since it has a lot of space and a lot of legroom. I wouldn't recommend buying a smaller and cheaper desk or a desk that has a lot of drawers, because it will probably be too narrow to get your chair close to it.
There is also a sit-stand desk which as the name says allows you to both work while sitting and standing. That's because it has the motors built inside which move it up and down to your desired height. This type of desk is the most ergonomic type you can get because you are not in one position, but rather alternate between sitting and standing. The downside of this type of desk is its price. It goes anywhere from 300$ to more than 1000$.
Keyboard and Mouse
If you are not a gamer, the keyboard and mouse are a matter of preference and getting used to. If you are using a laptop, a keyboard is not necessary in my opinion, except if your laptop has a very crappy keyboard and you want something better to type on (more on typing speed later). On the other hand, a mouse is a must for a laptop in my opinion. If you are not using it, you're missing out. It will make everything so much faster. For easier carrying around, I would recommend a wireless mouse, but if your laptop is stationary, a wired mouse will be just fine.
Yes, I know, creating to-do lists may seem boring but it has its benefits. Firstly, all your work will be organized. You won't be jumping from one thing to another, which will lead to you being more focused on what you are doing. Secondly, you won't have moments in your day when you don't know what to do. If you use a good to-do list software like Todoist, you'll always be able to see what you need to work on and you'll be less likely to pick up your phone and start browsing Instagram. You just need to create an account and you'll be presented with a very simple interface for adding your daily tasks.
I would suggest you be very specific with naming your tasks. Don't make long tasks that last 2 hours or more. Instead, split every task into multiple smaller tasks that last up to 30 minutes. That way it'll be less stressful and you'll get a little feeling of accomplishment after every small task.
Todoist is free for everyone to use. There is a paid plan which allows you to create more projects wherein free plan you can only have tasks created for up to 5 projects at a time. You also get an option to customize the interface with the paid plan.
The last benefit that I think to-do lists provide is a feeling of accomplishment. When at the end of the day you look at your do-to list, you'll immediately feel happier because you see what you have done that day. Or, if you haven't done everything on your list, you probably won't be that happy, and will probably try to push yourself to concentrate more tomorrow.
The faster you can type, the faster you can write code. It doesn't need to be super fast. About 50 words per minute is very good. That can be achieved in one or two weeks by practicing for only 20 minutes per day. For practicing I use TypeRacer. It's a car racing game where the speed of your car is determined by how fast you type, the faster you type, the faster the car goes. You race against real players which, in my opinion, makes it a lot more fun than all the other typing websites.
One thing that can help you achieve your desired typing speed faster is a good keyboard. Now, what is a good keyboard is going to be depended on you and your style of typing. My current keyboard is Redragon K552. Unlike my older keyboard, this one is mechanical and feels a lot better in my hands, and allows me to type faster. Since it's mechanical, after every keystroke, you hear a satisfyingly clicking sound. And as a bonus, it has nice RGB lighting which makes it fit in very well in my setup.
If you are working for someone else you don't really have a choice when you can or can't work, but if you have flexible working hours or you are a freelancer, it's best to start early in the morning. You have probably heard that successful people wake up early and work, that's not by accident. In the morning you are most rested and have the least amount of stress, which will allow you to be more creative and work faster.
Working early will also help with discipline. If in the morning you say "I'll go on my phone a little bit then I'll start working later", it'll be very hard to resist not spending too much on your phone. Delaying will only make it harder. That because of how social media is created, which I've said in the first tip. So, it's best to start working as soon as you wake up when you are fresh and are not doing anything.
After you've done all the work for the day, you'll feel free because you can do whatever you want for the rest of that day. If on the other side, you were delaying work, you'll always be worried and thinking "Oh, I have work to do".
Those were the tips that help me code faster. Try them out and let me know what you think.
I hope that you found this article helpful. If you have any questions feel free to post a comment, I will be happy to answer them.
Do you have any tips for coding faster? Share them in the comments.