If you truly believe in focusing on the most important things in your life, it is only ideal to embrace tools that make it easier. The idea is to take things off your mind when you can, so there’s mental space for the things that really need your attention.

Workhorse? Leverage a Calendar to help you.

Image: CNET

Sunrise is an excellent cross-platform calendar app (acquired by Microsoft). Pull in your feeds from Facebook, Trello, Gmail, Outlook, Evernote, Github, Asana, ToDoIst… you get the idea. One calendar to make everything work!

You say, “That’s simple. It’s just pulling in feeds and putting it in one place.”
There’s more. Add Interesting Calendars to your calendar. Public holidays for your region, religious holidays, TV shows and sports too!

Weather feeds for all three times of the day are built in.

All my Todoist tasks as well as my Arsenal games are on the app. Even if I don’t know who we are playing next or when, I get buzzed just in time to plan and watch the game.

Let ~~someone~~ something handle your money.

  • Didn’t spend more than Rs. 1500 on eating out this month. Check.
  • Paid all my bills in time. Check.
  • Borrowed Rs. 350 on three occasions from Jim. Paid him back without the awkward talk coming up. Check.
  • Saved Rs. 2000 towards my Xbox console. Rs. 6000 more to go! Check.

Spend Rs. 200 for a lifetime license, and forget about the hassles of managing your money. The app takes care of multiple accounts and wallets, budget limits, savings, travel period spends, borrowings and loans, repeating transactions…

If your philosophy of being involves contributing as a way of improving lives, you can go ahead and help the developers automate your bank account’s SMSes into the app.

Look, I highly suggest you get it. You can punch some numbers in and forget about it.

Don’t get fat or strain your eyes.

Pomodoro technique is not a joke. I know it’s hard to get up when your attention is clawed into something as interesting as code – it couldn’t be harder to take off from your chair for even one minute when you’re in the middle of cracking that problem you’ve been trying to tackle since the day before.

I’ll get up after I solve this.

No, you won’t. You know it. By then, you’ll be listening to a invigorating talk on Event Loop in JavaScriptHey, I was supposed to get up 10 minutes ago… bah, after this talk, I promise.

And the cycle goes on.

What are you doing to yourself?

In the six hours you spend glued to your screen everyday, you’ve brought an increased 64% risk of a cardiovascular disease upon yourself.

Listen. It’s not about ‘that random problem’ you’re going to get diagnosed with 30 years from now. When you have a wife and kids, you’ll regret what you did to yourself making money in a profession as programming.

See this infographic. Head to toe. You’re laden with issues, my fellow programmer/chair potato.

What happens the moment you sit down? What happens if you sit down six hours a day, two weeks? What happens in 1 year… 10-20 years… Lifehacker has some insight. You’re not going to like it.

Besides the health problems, you’re more likely to munch food that’s not good for you, adding to a habit that’s anyway going to make you fat before you know it. Spreading your activities throughout the day is better than a one hour workout. Like your parents have probably told you: be active.

Get Tomate for Ubuntu as a Pomodoro timer. Additionally/alternatively, get 20 Cubed for Chrome to reduce your eye strain as well. It follows the 20-20-20 rule.

Become a Command Line ninja

Stop. Wasting. Time.

Read up on CLI tips and tricks (Command Line Interface). As a newcomer, we end up writing whole lines again even when we don’t need to. Then, the habits stick and/or we’re too lazy to look stuff up.

Lifehacker, once again, has a good post: A Command Line Primer for Beginners.

I would suggest giving up the mouse altogether. Like your favorite programming language, your keyboard too is powerful. Leverage it. Love it.

That website you hosted on the cloud? No mouse to the rescue. Who’s your God, now? Just kidding. That’s when CLI really, really assists you.

Find out shortcuts for everything. Customize them if you don’t like them. Aim to be effecient. Google is your immortal friend.

Meditate, meditate, meditate!

Calm: take a deep breath.

Don’t get lost on the wide web.

Feedly: Read more. Know more.

And better your focus. I know I have had those days where one article led to to another, then to a click-bait, and a funny YouTube video about cats (what did you expect?)… you know the drill, right?

Collate your favorite websites’ RSS feeds at one place and enjoy a distraction-free reading every morning. You’ll begin to keep a mental track of what you’re reading, where and how much of reading is still to go. You’ll make a conscious effort to not fall trap to the baits.

Put BBC, The Guardian, The Hindu at once place. Box all your Football blogs into one. Roll even the latest videos from your favorite YouTube channels into a single section!

Show me all there is to see!

Improving your programmer productivity and health has been on the internet since 12:56 on Friday, October 16 2015.