Five top tips to improve Developer productivity

Female IT Developer working at a computer


As a full-time working mother of twins, Ameeta Pathak, senior software engineer at Brit, knows more than most the challenges of juggling an intense workload with the distractions of a busy life. She shares a few top tips on improving productivity that she’s picked-up.

Ameeta is a Senior Software Developer at Brit, where she works as a technical lead on modern applications that enable underwriting complex risks. Before working at Brit, Ameeta designed and developed applications for several firms across the executive recruitment and US healthcare industries. She is passionate about coding and learning new technologies. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and twin children. You will often find her talking about food, coffee shops and travel.


In the exciting, fast-paced world of Software Development, we need to complete daily project tasks and meet deadlines all whilst trying to be on a path of self-improvement by learning and mastering new and evolving technology. Sometimes we can also get inundated by tasks that need all need to be done right away, only adding to our stress and potentially even affecting our well-being.

Over the years, I have learnt some valuable tricks and tips to increase my productivity as a software developer. I particularly used them when transitioning back to work after my maternity leave. As a full-time working mother of twins, I have certainly faced the challenges of juggling the work responsibilities with a busy home life! These tips have helped me with time management, efficiency and effectiveness.


One of the easiest ways to improve productivity is to use the right tools and take full advantage of them. Choose an IDE (integrated development environment) that is best for the job. Learn the keyboard shortcuts for your IDE; every little time-saving trick helps. Where available, use time-tested existing libraries instead of re-inventing the wheel. Try to also automate the tasks that you often repeat.

You can also make use of Planner apps to organise, prioritise and schedule your tasks. These apps are simple, but allow you to make to do lists, set reminders and keep track of your goals.


People often regard multitasking as a skill, but also comes at a cost. Constant context switching can lead to interruptions in chain of thought, mistakes, and re-work to fix those mistakes. This is a recipe for poor quality of deliverables. Resist the urge to multitask and try monotasking. Focus on a single work item – be it a user story or bug or ticket. Break it down into small manageable tasks and work on one task at a time. Giving full justice to one task at a time can lead to better quality and quantity of work and, in all likelihood, it will be done more quickly.


Whether it’s 30 minutes or a couple of hours, block away some time in your diary to solely focus on the task at hand. Switch off the notifications, if possible. This is your time to dedicate all your attention to your task and work uninterrupted at solving the problem. You can achieve so much more out of this distraction-free time thus boosting your productivity, while lack of distraction enhances attention to detail and accuracy. An effective time management methodology to achieve Focus Time is the popular Pomodoro Technique.


Procrastination is often a negative word, but ‘Positive Procrastination’ shows that delaying a non-urgent task is not such a bad idea. You will eventually get to it, just not now. What is important to note here is that you will get to it. You will first tackle and tick off the high priority tasks and then find the time to complete the tasks that are lower on your priority. Prioritisation of your tasks involves making informed decisions based on their urgency and importance. It contributes towards working smarter and being performant.


Last, but certainly not least, let us talk about improving our work habits:

  • Declutter your workspace.
  • Take proper breaks and move frequently.
  • When working from home, be disciplined in switching off from work and stop for the day, even if this is difficult (working to a set schedule often helps.)
  • Finally, taking care of your physical and mental health is crucial to avoiding burnout.

These tips and techniques have certainly helped me, I hope they prove of value to others.


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