How I save several hours each day As A Programmer

How I save several hours each day As A Programmer

Everyone loves to save time, right? The following steps save me hours of time both at work and in private life each and every day, so I hope they can be useful for other people as well.

Learning to use the keyboard (for everything)

This is one of those things that seem completely contradictory to the goal of speeding things up – until you watch someone who has made that a habit. Fingers fly across the keyboard, short cuts launch scripts, programs, change windows. Files are deleted, renamed, the browser is navigated without ever touching the mouse – it’s marvelous to watch.

One thing that you should realize is that every single time you touch your mouse you wasted ten, twenty seconds. Fingers have to leave the keyboard, you have to reach over, point the mouse at a button, click, open a menu, hunt-peck for the menu entry you’re looking for – for something so simple as using your mouse it sure wastes a lot of time.

I have a whole post on the matter, if you want to become a true keyboard warrior and stop using your mouse. It will seem a bit much at first, but give it a couple months and you’ll see your productivity skyrocket.

Using my autocorrect script that makes me type 3x as fast

I love this script so much, it’s the main reason why I can write thousands of words each day without even stressing myself – and you, too can have this script completely free of charge.

The way it works is simple: Based on AutoHotkey you can run this script in your autostart folder and it will run everything you type against a list of typos you made in the past – press capslock and it will select the last typed word and allow you to enter a correction for it.

It will also expand abbreviations like „abbrs“ expaning to „abbreviations“ or „eo“ to „each other“ and the like – it saves me so much strain and time and I hardly ever have to edit my texts. I can type deep into the night with my eyes closed and the resulting copy will be decent-to-perfect, it’s really that great.

Email filtering and automation

I don’t make a lot of use of email automation, the emails I have to answer all need manual repsonses – but I sure love my filtering and the way it saves me hours each time.

It’s not hard to set up, especially in programs like Outlook or really any other dedicated email program.

We use Outlook at work and I have about forty different folders for all the topics, teams, projects and error messages. Staying on top of all those would be virtually impossible, I get at least 200 emails each day – of which most are just automatically genrated and purely for information. But without filtering them away I would still have to sift through to catch the important ones – inevitably missing one or two. Even now I almost missed an important appointment with my boss because the meeting request was lost between accepted pull requests.

MS Teams, discord, slack, IRC

All these chat programs have one common denominator: They aren’t emails. You might think that „text is text“, but I can’t tell you how much time we all save at work since we started using slack and MS Teams. Screen sharing, quick questions, generalized file sharing – it’s so much more effective then sending around dozens of email chains or long phone calls trying to get non-IT staff to send you a screenshot of the error message. It’s all „can you share your screen?“ and five minutes for tasks that used to consume an hour – it’s amazing.

In my private life discord and IRC groups have long ruled my communication – if you use them well and not as yet another place to share memes you can save hours of time and get a lot of use out of them.

Version control & build pipelines

I use Git and build pipelines both at work and in my private life and they save me literal hours each and every day.

Not just in time saved manually deploying files to the server, also in the time saved where I don’t have to bugfix things that originate in my own mistakes of missing this step or that one.

In my own life I mostly use Git to backup my files, but I also run some websites that are automatically deployed using Netlify or Github pages – one of the coolest technologies of recent years in my opinion.

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