I keep a list of stuff to improve. Whenever I catch something stupid it lands in there.
I try to get rid of these bad habits.
Often I find myself unable to solve the problem with willpower alone. Then I search for a solution that assists me. Maybe a little "barrier" or some kind of reminder. Let me show you, what I mean with this..
Looking at the keys all the time
When I started to program 5 years ago I looked onto my keyboard all the time. Sure - typing faster does not make you a better programmer - but typing with 2 fingers is not ergonomic.
I found a nice solution for my problem.
I bought a keyboard without letters. I was so bad to hit the proper keys, that nudged me towards learning it right. I have to admit though that I still have problems with some special keys 😉
Not moving enough during work
Like most people I had the problem that I did not take enough breaks. This was hard to change.
I started to work in Pomodoros (25 minutes of work and 5 minutes of break). Unfortunately I still did not leave my working space often enough.
So I took another iteration and added added a little AppleScript to my Pomodoro App..
After each Pomodoro my Pomodoro timer executes a little script that locks my Mac 😉
Surfing the web all the time
Unfortunately I am addicted to the internet. I am pretty OK with it most of the time — but not, when I want to be productive.
That's why i wrote a little script that blocks my internet access.
echo "Enough of this filthy internet" | cowsay -s
sudo route -n delete default &> /dev/null
If I need to be more specific with the site I need to block, I use a program called SelfControl.
This works great! Of course as a computer guy I could circumvent this — but I do not want to.
Force pushing to master
It happened frequently that I forced pushed to master. This was really annoying for me.
Image Source: Flickr / Pascal (CC BY 2.0)
My colleague Nikolay proposed to fix it with a script. That's just what I did.
I have not force pushed to master since. This script is now also in use at some of my colleagues.
Checking working email at home
I checked working email at home. I love my work to much to let my fingers from it - but I realize that I need time of it in order to rest.
Image Source: Flickr / Tama Leaver (CC BY 2.0)
There's a simple remedy for not reading work related emails at home: Delete the freaking email account on your computers at home. It's baffling how often you will look into your empty email-client thereafter..
There's so much chatter at Twitter. I checked Twitter hourly. Here's what I did:
Not using arrow keys in VIM
Another stupid habit of mine was, that I used the arrow keys in order to move in VIM.
This was pretty simple to fix: I disabled them!
not use the arrow keys any more
nnoremap <up> <nop>
nnoremap <down> <nop>
nnoremap <left> <nop>
nnoremap <right> <nop>
inoremap <up> <nop>
inoremap <down> <nop>
inoremap <left> <nop>
inoremap <right> <nop>
It took only a week until I was not trying to hit them any more 😉
Being to digital
Another problem of me is, that I use all my electronic devices to much. Here is what I build to prevent this: Productivity Protector 2000.
What is my point to show you this little collection of personal hacks?
Do not be a victim of you're bad habits.
As Nerd we have superpowers: We analyze problems. We solve them. All day long. Start applying these skills to the rest of your life!