On productivity

Most of the people I've met think that being at work a lot of hours means more productivity. I mean in IT, in software development. For some reason they believe that the more hours you sit in front of the computer the better. I find this absolutely wrong, anti-productive 100%. Even when I was addressing my own company it was a mistake to work more than 6 hours a day because I don't think the human beings are made to do the same activity that long.
If you think of something you like to do, whatever it be, you'll most likely agree with me that you would not like to do so for more than 4 hours. I love software development and I like to write code every day but, honestly, I don't feel like working more than 5 hours a day, no matter how exciting the project is. When I have only a few hours to solve a problem I focus on it much more than when I have to be in the office late hours. When I start the day in the office having rested properly, having a tight deadline for the items in my to-do list I'm definitively more productive and design the software better.
When I was in colleague I used to focus much more as the exams were getting closer and I did pass the colleague successfully understanding almost everything and remembering only the important things.
The ideal for me is to work 28 hours a week, investing some of that time researching and other activities (will post about that someday). I hope companies realize that in the future to have more happy and efficient developers, focusing on the quality and not in the quantity (usually the quantity of wasted time)

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  • http://nestor.babuine.net Néstor

    Hey Carlos, I have read your post and I have thought about that, and what do you think about a task based approach?

    By example, I have planned 5 tasks for this week, write a CustomerDAO, add the foo feature, and bla bla bla, then when you finish the tasks, you can go out. If I finish my tasks faster, I can go earlier and if I finish my task slower I should finish it until the deadline.

    Cheers !

  • http://carlosble.com Carlos Ble

    Hi Nestor!,
    Well, I tryed your idea and it didn\’t work very well. It happens that you end up writing bad quality code and very tired after long hours so you perform well for 2 days and don\’t perform for 3 or 4.
    I believe it depends on the people but for me it is not good.
    It is better to be doing something interesting and have to leave because it\’s the time; the next day I have a nice motivation to start working and most likely will focus quickly on that.