How 15 minutes a week and a simple list keeps my developer workflow humming
You can't improve what you don't track.
When I'm giving demos to or pairing with other devs, they inevitably ask how I put together my workflows and tooling. It, usually, appears smooth and effective. Everything from mnemonic shortcuts in my terminal to instantly opening the AWS console to the right account.
I can thank two habits for building and keeping my workflows going.
1. Keep a Friction List
As I'm working throughout the day, whenever there's a little hiccup or annoyance in my workflow, it goes on the Friction List. My natural inclination (and desire for procrastination) says to stop and fix it immediately. But in the spirit of GTD I send it off to a trusted system, knowing I'll circle back to it eventually.
Here's a small snippet of things currently on it:
- no auto format on save for lua
- ave should default to target1 acct
- fuzzy directory jump history doesn't sync between laptops
- nested cdk dir changes nvim file listing context
- vaulted doesn't support image sharing
Each of these has at one point or another annoyed or impeded my flow. Tiny to significant bits of friction that once removed, give back precious seconds to minutes of my day. Capturing them as they occur is a start, but it isn't enough to stave off the desire to fix them all. For that, I need to...
2. Review and improve for 15 minutes each week
Doing is critical to actually improving.
Each week, 15 minutes of dedicated AM time is spent reviewing the list and making progress on something. It could be a quick new shortcut, or planning out the next feature on a side project.
Any action is fair game, so long as it makes progress on the list.
Now it's your turn. Do you track the friction in your workflow? If not, how do you know what to improve?
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