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5 Reasons Why Software Developer is a Great Career Choice

This week I will give a presentation at a local high school on what it is like to work as a programmer. I am volunteering (through the organization Transfer) to come to schools and talk about what I work with. This school will have a technology theme day this week, and would like to hear what working in the technology sector is like. Since I develop software, that’s what I will talk about. One section will be on why I think a career in software development is great. The main reasons are:

5 Reasons

1 Creative. If you ask people to name creative jobs, chances are they will say things like writer, musician or painter. But few people know that software development is also very creative. It is almost by definition creative, since you create new functionality that didn’t exist before. The solutions can be expressed in many ways, both structurally and in the details. Often there are trade-offs to make (for example speed versus memory consumption). And of course the solution has to be correct. All this requires creativity.

2 Collaborative. Another myth is that programmers sit alone at their computers and code all day. But software development is in fact almost always a team effort. You discuss programming problems and solutions with your colleagues, and discuss requirements and other issues with product managers, testers and customers. It is also telling that pair-programming (two developers programming together on one computer) is a popular practice.

3 In demand. More and more in the world is using software, or as Marc Andreessen put it: “Software is Eating the World“. Even as there are more programmers (in Stockholm, programmer is now the most common occupation), demand is still outpacing supply. Software companies report that one of their greatest challenges is finding good developers. I regularly get contacted by recruiters trying to get me to change jobs. I don’t know of many other professions where employers compete for you like that.

4 Pays well. Developing software can create a lot of value. There is no marginal cost to selling one extra copy of software you have already developed. This combined with the high demand for developers means that pay is quite good. There are of course occupations where you make more money, but compared to the general population, I think software developers are paid quite well.

5 Future proof. Many jobs disappear, often because they can be replaced by computers and software. But all those new programs still need to be developed and maintained, so the outlook for programmers is quite good.

What about outsourcing? Won’t all software development be outsourced to countries where the salaries are much lower? This is an example of an idea that is better in theory than in practice (much like the waterfall development methodology). Software development is a discovery activity as much as a design activity. It benefits greatly from intense collaboration. Furthermore, especially when the main product is software, the knowledge gained when developing it is a competitive advantage. The easier that knowledge is shared within the whole company, the better it is.

Another way to look at it is this. Outsourcing of software development has existed for quite a while now. Yet there is still high demand for local developers. So companies see benefits of hiring local developers that outweigh the higher costs.

How to Win

There are many reasons why I think developing software is enjoyable (see also Why I Love Coding). But it is not for everybody. Fortunately it is quite easy to try programming out. There are innumerable resources on the web for learning to program. For example, both Coursera and Udacity have introductory courses. If you have never programmed, try one of the free courses or tutorials to get a feel for it.

Finding something you really enjoy to do for a living has at least two benefits. First, since you do it every day, work will be much more fun than if you simply do something to make money. Second, if you really like it, you have a much better chance of getting good at it. I like the Venn diagram below (by @eskimon) on what constitutes a great job. Since programming pays relatively well, I think that if you like it, you have a good chance of ending up in the center of the diagram!

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Future-Proof Your PC

Future-proofing is a common term when talking about computers and it simply refers to making sure that your computer will be able to adapt to new developments years down the road.

if I ever build a new pc from scratch, I will make sure that I get future-proof parts

Considering building a new gaming PC. Very behind the times. Anything I should know/beware of? Want a reasonably “future proof” build.

But is it really worth the effort and costs to future-proof a PC? Considering the rapid pace of change in the technology world, can a computer actually be made future-proof? Or would it be better to simply replace your old PC as it wears out 7 Warning Signs It’s Time to Replace your Old PC When should you buy a new computer? Read More ?

Here’s why you may want to reconsider.

1. Not Everyone Needs Future-Proofing

The basic understanding of future-proofing is this: a PC that you buy now will still be able to run programs just as smoothly and efficiently — and be compatible with new technologies — a few years down the line without needing any upgrades or replacements.

Of course, this is open to a lot of interpretation.

First, the programs you run. A PC is more likely to stay future-proof if all you do is browse the web, watch some videos, and work on Microsoft Office. However, a PC may have trouble running new games at the best possible graphics settings or multiple operating systems simultaneously What’s the Best Way to Run Multiple Operating Systems on Your PC? Undecided between Windows and Linux? It’s possible to run multiple OSes on a single machine either by dual booting or using a virtual machine. Let’s find out which one is best for you. Read More .

Long story short, future-proofing is unnecessary if…

  • You’re fine with playing newer games at sub-optimal settings.
  • You mostly use your PC for Web browsing, email, office work, and movies.
  • You don’t care about having “the latest and greatest”.

2. Most Warranties Can’t Keep Up

The other major expenditure is the Power Supply Unit (PSU). Depending on the model, you can get a warranty up to seven years, but those are usually only for the top-of-the-line PSUs.

Funnily enough, the things you can upgrade most easily and most affordably are covered for a longer time by warranties. Hard drives and RAM, for instance, are usually covered by three-to-five years of warranty, but these are made obsolete so quickly that they aren’t prime components for future-proofing.

3. Technology Has Mostly Peaked

In some ways, processor technology has peaked. Unless you’re running a server or setting up virtual machines Testing A New Operating System? Stay Secure With A Virtual Machine Read More , you don’t really need that extra horsepower any more.

Techspot compared Intel processors over eight years and found that, with a four-year difference, the new processor was only 32% faster in Excel, 25% faster in 7-Zip, and 17% faster on average when comparing gaming performance.

Furthermore, a two year gap between Sandy Bridge and Haswell “shows reasonable gains at times, but for the most part the difference is minimal” and “in gaming tests, virtually nothing separates the two processors.”

Things are similar in the RAM department. The baseline for RAM is 4 GB How Much RAM Do You Really Need? RAM is like short term memory. The more you multitask, the more you need. Find out how much your computer has, how to get the most out of it, or how to get more. Read More , and you will see significant improvements with 8 GB RAM — but between 8 GB and 16 GB, you aren’t going to see much improvement in real-world performance. The only exception, again, is when running virtual machines.

According to the current trend, manufacturers are making technology more power-efficient so that laptop batteries can last longer and PCs can draw less power. Concepts like Moore’s Law have run their course.

4. Future-Proofing Doesn’t Always Work

  • Almost all future-proofers said that new games don’t run as well as they did initially. The experience is still “good enough”, but it’s not at the best settings any more.
  • You should only future-proof if you are willing to overclockOverclocking For Gamers: Everything You Need To Know Here’s every a gamer needs to know about overclocking – and how to do it. Read More and know the subsequent risks of losing warranties. Overclocking makes future-proofing worthwhile.
  • A high-end PSU and computer case will last you a long time, well beyond warranties. Most future-proofers got two or three different builds out of their PSU and case.

Graphics cards, especially, are upgraded most often. If you’re a PC gamer, then your graphics card is not going to stay relevant for four years if you want state-of-the-art visuals. Some say it depreciates drastically in two years, so periodic upgrades are better than future-proofing.

5. Future-Proofing Is Cost-Inefficient

Like the aforementioned advice about graphics cards, upgrading periodically is better than binging the first time. Instead of buying beyond your needs “just in case”, the wiser option is to get a system that meets your needs right now and save the rest of what you would’ve spent. Invest that money to buy stuff when you can get the best deal for it The Secret To Getting The Best Deals On All The Stuff You Want If you make frequent online purchases using big-name retailers, such as Amazon, BestBuy, and Walmart, then you probably know about the deal finding sites SlickDeals and Fatwallet. A little known secret is that all the. Read More .

In the Reddit thread, the best advice, in my opinion, came from u/crimson117:

With a $2,000 budget that needs to last 4 years you’d usually be better off in the long term spending $1,000 now and then $250 in upgrades once a year. Careful long-term budgeting (is more) reliable than one big splurge.The only exception is a computer that can’t be upgraded easily, such as a build for a family member who lives too far away.

Future Proofing vs. Rolling Upgrade

I’m sure many of you readers are future-proof enthusiasts, and I’m sure there are just as many who are against it. Are you ready to battle it out?

Give me your best reasons to future-proof (or not) and your experiences down in the comments!

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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But you’re doing it wrong. By future proofing I bought the cheapest i3 I could find, on an average-to-good motherboard, and five years later I managed to put on a Xeon E3-1285L V4 – which is an 8-threads, 10k cpubenchmark, 65W TDP little monster, for like US$ 40 on eBay. Threw up 32GB of RAM and I’m pretty comfortable running 100+ tabs on Chrome (I know, I need to see that), running Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and with my wife still logged in full of Photoshop and Illustrator files open in the background (obviously not working on them simultaneously, and that’s basically RAM talking, but all those chrome tabs suck up some serious CPU).

So this is just to say: future proofing isn’t just getting more RAM or more processing power then you need at the moment of purchase. It’s buying into the cheapest processor of the newest platform you can find. By the time the CPU gets tired, you can get some awesome processors in the used market – especially server grade for banana-cheap prices.

The tech media needs to review the “future proof” term. And under this point of view, it’s totally worth it.

I built my current rig back in 2020 on a $2000 budget. Core i7 2700K (Sandy Bridge), EVGA mobo, 16 Gbs Ram, 2x WD Black 1TB 7200rpm HDD, Geforce GTX 580, and a nice, new, 1080p monitor from ASUS. I reused my previous build’s case and power supply. I didn’t do my first upgrades to it until 2020, when I got a GeForce GTX 970 Ti and my first SSD that I loaded my OS onto when I did the Windows 10 upgrade. unfortunately, Windows 10 doesn’t seem to really play well with my system’s (I think) EVGA mobo; the whole system randomly hangs and freezes on me a couple times a week, each time requiring me to hold down the power button to turn it off and then back on again. no BSOD, no errors, no warnings, and nothing in Event Viewer to say what happened. I’ve scoured forums to find answers, and tried many things that were suggested to fix the problem, all to no avail. I’ve hoped and hoped that maybe a update or patch would come out that would fix the problem, but I’ve run out of hope. Looks like it’s time for a new system build. I’ll probably keep my current rig for my kids to use, and they can beat it up and defile it with all their crap, without me caring.

I have a 1st gen processor core i5 650 with 1156 socket 1333hz RAM, bought it in 2020 so i definitely think that whatever i should buy must last me until 2022.

My old computer (i5-2320) died last month after five years and I replaced it with a refurbished model (i3-560); I was able to salvage the RAM, graphics card and hard drive, however, so it runs about as well as the old one did.

Most warranties on HDD are 1-2 years, at most 5 years, and the average consumer HDD has a 5 year lifespan (25% fail rate with 5 years). Good luck with your data with your 12 year lifespan mentality.

In that amount of time I would go through about 8 phones and 3 computers and 2 tablets and some sort of smart watch or crazy new device. Still waiting on Gadgets as Tattoos

If I could get by with a middle of the road i5, I believe it’s a good idea to “future proof” with a better psu, mobo and cpu so I can add extra drives, hdd’s, memory or upgrade the gpu and not bottle neck myself. There are also programs that get upgraded, and I’m not talking photoshop 9 to 10. Perhaps photoshop 7 lite was all I needed for the last 5 years but I want or need to upgrade to the full blown PS-11 because my casual point and shoot photography turned serious amateur with a 26 mega pixel DSLR. Over time adding programs, program upgrades, data, pictures, videos even Web browsing becomes more resource hungry and buying just enough computer to do what you need today will leave you wishing you had more in a short time.

I hate when people say it obsolete a week after you bought it, they have a very narrow view.

As long as you have a decent CPU and a decent amount of RAM, tweaking the machine for a long life is easy.

I say this after my last two rigs both ran for more than 7 years of constant usage. And trust me I played MMOS.

It’s true though that HDDs, Cooler Fans and Power Units should be considered expendable.

My last righ received an SSD more than a year ago and an upgrade from 4 to 8 GB of Ram DDR3 more then 3 years ago. Always consider small upgrades as future proofing. It bad to want everything from the start for more than 3-4 years.

Forgot 1 thing: It also received a Graphic Card upgrade about 2 years ago as well. Never the top. just enough to give it a boost so everything remains comfortable.

The problem is incompatible hardware. You can’t use a Sandy Bridge CPU in the latest generation motherboard, the socket types are different. If you want to upgrade the CPU or motherboard, you have to buy both. What happens when DDR4 memory is released or there’s a new type of PCI?

Personally, I only buy laptops which are mostly non-upgradeable, but I do upgrade Desktop systems for other people.

You realize DDR4 has been available for desktop systems for over a year now, right? Haswell-Es aren’t incredibly common, but Skylake is what’s big for the upcoming holiday season.

As far as CPU upgrades: Who cares? An actual CPU upgrade on the same system board is a vanishing rarity and insofar as it’s possible, the biggest in 2020 will probably be more a result of shifting to a different product line (i3 to i7)than to a different CPU generation (Sandy Bridge to Skylake).

At the point that someone wants to move to a new CPU socket, you’re functionally giving them an entirely different PC, even if no other component is changed. That’s just the nature of motherboard upgrades.

When it comes to laptops, I always go a little extra and get top of the line in terms of cpu and max supported ram (not what the OEM officially supports, but what tests show will actually work, which is always more). I have used laptops only for years and I have always gotten 5 or 6 years out of them before I begin to notice any performance issues that are caused by newer operating systems and other software, whether it is Linux or Windows. My i5 Asus that I paid $700 for over 5 years ago is still just as relevant today as it was then. I don’t game, but I do work with a lot of cpu and memory intensive audio software and I never have issues. I am also a tech, so I can open my machine and clean out the dust, which the average user won’t do – so that is something to consider as well.

My previous laptop was a Dell Inspiron with 3gb RAM and an Athlon 64 and I ran from XP all the way through Windows 7 with no issues, again using memory and cpu intensive audio software. My kids are still using that same Dell laptop for Netflix and youtube today and it is fast enough for what they do.

Overall, unless you are a gamer, spending a little extra on new laptop purchases is not a bad thing and should get you years of life.

“3. Technology Has Mostly Peaked”
Sounds like a statement attributed to Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, US Patent Office, who, in 1899, supposedly said ‘Everything that can be invented has been invented.’

“4. Future-Proofing Doesn’t Always Work”
When you come right down to it, future-proofing never works because as soon as you finish building the PC, it is already obsolete. All you can do is not get too far behind.

If you weren’t up your ass in your quotes and did some book lernin, you’d know that processor hardware needs an overhaul before we can make significant improvements such as those between 1990 and now.

Thank you for your erudite comment.

As a point of order, someone who bought a first-generation (Bloomfield) Core i system in Q4 2008(!) still has a completely usable PC in Q4 2020. An 8-thread i7 920 is in most respects the equal of a

2020 4-thread Ivy Bridge i3 4360 from a performance standpoint. The i3 is around 50% faster on a per-thread basis, but given the six year age difference and the the fact that the old guy supports twice as many threads, it’s a surprisingly strong showing.

That old i7 can use the same RAM and peripherals available to the contemporary i3 and it would be very hard to distinguish the two systems in most subjective respects, given identical graphics hardware and disk subsystems.

. which really goes to show how completely ridiculous Core i is in general and specifically how ridiculous i7s have been through the entire duration of the product line.

Thanks for the interesting comment. In what way do you mean i7s are ridiculous – that they are worth buying because their performance, the hyperthreading will demolish the future?

Laptops lack the option to change out CPUs and gpus in exchange for portability. Just buy a new one.

I think this only counts for desktops. What to do with laptops?

Laptops are functionally disposable. Laptops sold on the basis of high end performance characteristics, particularly if there’s some sort of graphics hardware involved, are even more disposable.

The features that make a computer a desirable performance system are antithetical to portable computing; fast CPUs and GPUs generate huge amounts of waste heat, which will shorten the life of an attached battery and basically any other component in close proximity. Cooling involves elaborate engineering of coolant media, be it a metal surface, air or liquid.

It’s my experience that high end notebooks live exactly as long as their cooling subsystem lasts.

The takeaway from this is to not bother buying more performance than you need.

Mihir Patkar writes on technology and productivity when he isn’t binge watching re-runs.

How responsible are you with your money?

Текст How responsible are you with your money? с переводом.

Here are seven things I stopped doing to become more productive.

1. Stop working overtime and increase your productivity instead.

Have you ever wondered where the five-day, 40-hour work week came from? In 1926, Henry Ford, American industrialist and founder of Ford Motor Company, conducted an experiment with his own staff:

He decreased their daily hours from 10 to 8, and shortened the work week from 6 days to 5. As a result, he saw his workers’ productivity increase.

The more you work, the less effective and productive you become over both the short and long term, states a 1980 report from The Business Roundtable titled “Scheduled Overtime Effect on Construction Projects.”

“Where a work schedule of 60 or more hours per week is continued longer than about two months, the cumulative effect of decreased productivity will cause a delay in the completion date beyond that which could have been realized with the same crew size on a 40-hour week.”

Source: Calculating Loss of Productivity Due to Overtime Using Published Charts — Fact or Fiction

In an article for AlterNet, editor Sara Robinson referenced research conducted by the US military which revealed that “losing just one hour of sleep per night for a week will cause a level of cognitive degradation equivalent to a .10 blood alcohol level.” You can get fired for coming to work drunk, but it’s acceptable to pull an all-nighter.

Irrespective of how well you were able to get on with your day after that most recent night without sleep, it is unlikely that you felt especially upbeat and joyous about the world. Your more-negative-than-usual perspective will have resulted from a generalized low mood, which is a normal consequence of being overtired. More important than just the mood, this mind-set is often accompanied by decreases in willingness to think and act proactively, control impulses, feel positive about yourself, empathize with others, and generally use emotional intelligence.

It’s important for us not to overwork ourselves and get enough sleep to maintain a high level of productivity. Next time you’re wondering why you may not be working productively, the reason may be simple as you being deprived of adequate sleep. (James Maas, a sleep researcher and expert, revealed that at least seven out of every 10 Americans don’t get enough sleep.)

Did you know?

  • Leonardo da Vinci took multiple naps a day and slept less at night.
  • The French emperor Napoleon was not shy about taking naps. He indulged daily.
  • Though Thomas Edison was embarrassed about his napping habit, he also practiced this ritual on a daily basis.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, used to boost her energy before speaking engagements by napping.
  • Gene Autry, “the Singing Cowboy,” routinely took naps in his dressing room between performances.
  • President John F. Kennedy ate his lunch in bed and then settled in for a nap—every day!
  • Oil industrialist and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller napped every afternoon in his office.
  • Winston Churchill’s afternoon nap was a non-negotiable. He believed it helped him get twice as much done each day.
  • President Lyndon B. Johnson took a nap every afternoon at 3:30 p.m. in order to break his day up into “two shifts.”
  • Though he was criticized for it, President Ronald Reagan famously took naps as well.

On a personal note, since I started getting at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, I’ve noticed a change: I became a lot more productive and got a lot more work done in comparison to when I worked 16 hours a day. Who knew sleeping was such a great tool for marketers?

2. Don’t say “yes” too often

According to the Pareto principle, 20 percent of the effort produces 80 percent of the results; however, 20 percent of the results consumes 80 percent of the effort. Instead of working harder, we should focus primarily on the efforts that produce the majority of the results and forgo the rest. That way, we have more time to focus on the most important tasks. Stop saying “yes” to tasks that yield little or no result.

“The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say “no” to almost everything.”

So what should you say “yes” to? And when should you say “no”? If you can’t figure out if something is going to be worth your time, consider running a simple split test. Consider tracking everything you do, and the time it takes to complete each task, and the results. Then go back, assess your list to see what did (or didn’t) prove fruitful, and take your findings into consideration to optimize for future tasks.

Most of us say yes more often than we should, for a variety of reasons, including guilt and overstretching ourselves, but also because it is so much easier than saying no. Nobody wants to be the bad guy.

In a 2020 study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, researchers split 120 students in two groups. One group was trained to use the phrase “I can’t” when discussing the specific choices, while the other was trained to use “I don’t” in framing their decisions.

The students who told themselves “I can’t eat X” chose to eat the chocolate candy bar 61% of the time. Meanwhile, the students who told themselves “I don’t eat X” chose to eat the chocolate candy bars only 36% of the time. This simple change in terminology significantly improved the odds that each person would make a more healthy food choice.

Next time you need to avoid saying yes, use “I don’t” in your refusal, to reinforce the helpful behavior of saying no to things that aren’t worth it.

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Another great trick is to avoid activities that don’t add enough value to your life is the 20-second rule: For activities you shouldn’t be engaging in, or negative habits you want to break, add an element of difficulty, adding on a 20-second roadblock, so to speak, to you starting that activity. For example, if you’re trying to use lessen your use of social media, delete the tempting apps from your phone, so that it takes you another 20 seconds to find your laptop to access them. By adding in an inconvenience, you’ll be less likely to engage with that draining activity or habit.

Lower the activation energy for habits you want to adopt and raise it for habits you want to avoid. The more we can lower or even eliminate the activation energy for our desired actions, the more we enhance our ability to jump-start positive change.

3. Stop doing everything yourself and start letting people help you

At some point in my career, I was managing a very large community and couldn’t handle it all myself. I burnt out, and the community ended up taking over and managing itself. Surprisingly, members did a better job than I could have ever done on my own. I learned the power of community and why brands need user-generated content.

Consumers understand what they want and how they want it better than any marketer does. Did you know that, according to Octoly, user-generated videos are viewed 10 times more than brand-generated videos on YouTube? When seeking information about a particular brand, over half (51 percent) of Americans trust user-generated content more than what’s on the brand’s official website (16 percent) or media coverage on the brand (14 percent). It’s important for marketers to open up and seek help from the brand’s community itself.

Being a great content marketer is not about creating the best content, but building a great community that will generate high-quality content for you.

It’s important for us to realize we can seek help when we need it. Sometimes it’s impossible to do everything ourselves. It‘s better to let someone, or a team, share the work, giving you more time to focus on the most important tasks. Instead of wasting time and energy overloading yourself or trying to do it alone, let others share the burden and help.

Often times, even if your friends or coworkers can’t help you, simply having them around can help you become more productive.

Just having friends nearby can push you toward productivity. “There’s a concept in ADHD treatment called the ‘body double,’ ” says David Nowell, Ph.D., a clinical neuropsychologist from Worcester, Massachusetts. “Distractable people get more done when there is someone else there, even if he isn’t coaching or assisting them.” If you’re facing a task that is dull or difficult, such as cleaning out your closets or pulling together your receipts for tax time, get a friend to be your body double.

4. Stop being a perfectionist

“We found that perfectionism trips up professors on the way to research productivity. The more perfectionistic the professor, the less productive they are,” Dr. Simon Sherry, a psychology professor at Dalhousie University who conducted a study on perfectionism and productivity, told University Affairs. Dr. Sherry found a robust correlation between increased perfectionism and decreased productivity.

Here are some problems associated with being a perfectionist:

  • They spend more time than required on a task.
  • They procrastinate and wait for the perfect moment. In business, if it is the perfect moment, you are too late.
  • They miss the big picture while focusing too much on the small things.

Marketers often wait for the perfect moment. In doing so, they end up missing it.

The perfect moment is NOW.

5. Stop doing repetitive tasks and start automating.

According to a research study conducted by Tethys Solutions, a team of five people who spent 3 percent, 20 percent, 25 percent, 30 percent and 70 percent of their time on repetitive tasks, respectively, reduced their time spent to 3 percent, 10 percent, 15 percent, 15 percent and 10 percent after two months of working to enhance their productivity.

A week ago, I spent 15 minutes writing a basic Python program. The idea was to generate content from the data, which I pulled from Twitter API using a Ruby bot, and then using Hootsuite to bulk schedule the content. While this task used to take me an entire day to accomplish, it now takes me less than five minutes thanks to automation. Nowadays, whenever I find that I’ve done something more than five times, I ask myself if I can find a program to automate it for me.

You don’t have to be able to code to automate your repetitive tasks. It’s nice to have the skills or the resources, but it’s not a requirement. If you cannot build it, buy it.

People often forget that time is money. People usually do things manually because it’s easy and requires almost no research. It’s manageable to moderate 30 images on Instagram for your user-generated campaign. But if you have to manage 30,000 photos and videos from five different platforms, you need a good digital asset management software. At Filemobile, we help people solve that problem and generate even more user-generated content. Just like managing rich media, you can easily purchase a software to solve almost all of your problems on the internet.

If you still can’t find a solution, you can hire an expert to help you. Keep in mind that you need to spend money to make money and that time is your most valuable commodity.

Tips for marketers: check out GitHub or Google Apps Script library. Often times, you’ll find free, ready-to-use open source code that requires very little programming knowledge.

6. Stop guessing and start backing up your decisions with data

If you can optimize websites for search engines, you can optimize your life to grow and reach your maximum potential.

There are countless research studies that can offer insight on optimizing your productivity. For instance, did you know that most people are more easily distracted between noon to 4 p.m.? This was the conclusion that came from research shared by Robert Matchock, an associate professor of psychology at Pennsylvania State University. But even if you can’t find data on a particular question you might have, it doesn’t take a lot of time to run a simple split test and examine your own results.

7. Stop working, and take some time to do nothing at all.

Most people don’t realize that when we are too focused on something, we’re essentially locking ourselves in a box which can end up being counterproductive to our work or the results we’re chasing. It’s important to walk away from work once in a while and have some alone time, which is good for the brain and spirit, according to “The Power of Lonely,” from The Boston Globe.

One ongoing Harvard study indicates that people form more lasting and accurate memories if they believe they’re experiencing something alone. Another indicates that a certain amount of solitude can make a person more capable of empathy towards others. And while no one would dispute that too much isolation early in life can be unhealthy, a certain amount of solitude has been shown to help teenagers improve their moods and earn good grades in school.

It‘s important to take time for reflection. We often find the solutions we’re looking for when we’re not actively searching for them.

It’s also important to understand that we don’t become more productive overnight. Like everything in life, it requires effort and practice. Change doesn’t happen just by sitting around and waiting for it. Instead, take the time to learn more about your body and find actionable ways to optimize your energy and time for a more successful and happier life.

Disclosure: Filemobile (acquired by NewZulu) is a former client of my agency, ThinkRenegade .

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