On Being a Productive Person

Bukhori Muhammad Aqid June 8, 2016

it’s not about what you do, it’s about how you do it.

I tend to work all day and night because I believe in what we do. Sometimes I feel like clocking in a lot of hours in front of my laptop.

To track my productivity, I use a really useful software called RescueTime to warn me if I slack off too much during the day and recap all of digital activities (excluding some private activities, mind you).

One day I decided to take a look at my weekly activities, and what I saw kind of surprised me a little bit. I saw consistent patterns for 3 weeks straight. I really thought that my workflow is a messy one but turns out I was wrong. Just look at those diagrams :

my weekly recap. red means fun-time. blue is brain-time.

Then a question popped into my mind.

Do you really use your productive hours effectively?

Being a causality freak, I need to know (or at least guess) about what really happened during my work hours. Basically my work is divided in 2 parts : technical, and managerial. I still handle and maintain some code, while managing team and another workflow-related process in between.

Based on my stats, I clocked more or less same hours with a full time programmer. BUT, if you look at the chart carefully you’ll know that my Tuesday (yay Sports Day!) is always a slow day for my productivity. My most productive time is at Monday and Thursday, when I work at Flipbox’s workshop in Depok. And sadly, I’m quite productive on Sunday.

My other routines are standup progress meeting, occasional code review & pair programming, and other communication activities (meetings, conference calls, discussions, etc). Those can’t be tracked by RescueTimesince I usually didn’t bring my laptop with me. Let’s assume that I took 2–4 hours per day for those activities. Combined with my daily 2 hours commute, I averaged around 10–14 hours per day.

I know some of you might think that what I do is not healthy and not that productive (just look at the red bar). But hey,

Some people have different ways to achieve their goals.

As long as I enjoy what I do, how I do it doesn’t matter that much. To rephrase the previous sentence : it’s not about what you do, it’s about being the real you and enjoy what you do while doing it. There’s no point in doing what you believe if you have to fake yourself most of the day. Be yourself, set your goals accordingly and work with your own pace. But remember that you’re not working alone so don’t be a jerk and live up to your teammates’ expectation.

I realise that I can’t keep those schedule for a long time. One day I’ll have something to do on my weekends, and other day I might not be able to work until late. But knowing how I do is enough for now. Meanwhile I’ll keep tracking my daily activities and try to be more productive on Tuesday and Wednesday. Let’s see what happen next, shall we?

Original post by @bukhorimuhammad