We mostly live our lives on autopilot habits that determine the outcomes that we have. From the moment we wake up (even while sleeping), until we go to bed we repeat certain habits that we do not pay that much attention. This does not necessarily mean that these habits are bad. It shows, however, how important it is for us to take the time and form new habits that produce remarkable results.
I recently had the privilege to publish my third article at SimpleProgrammer, which mentions 7 habits of highly effective programmers. It is an article based on the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People which gives suggestions for software developers that want to be more effective in their lives. These habits are shown to be part of programmers who amaze us with their accomplishments and performances. Hence it is not a surprise, nor unexpected for us to get to know these, as people are the result of their actions.
I am only going to mention and briefly explain the main take-aways from these habits. If you want to learn more, I recommend reading the whole article.
Focus on what you can do. Avoid wasting time and effort on things that are out of your control that drastically drain your energy and simply make you feel terrible.
Begin with the End in Mind
You must have goals that are compelling for you. Goals that inspire you to wake up in the morning and make you give 120%. If you want to go full speed, you need to know where you are headed.
Setting clear goals is imperative.
Put First Things First
Avoid distractions that constantly interrupt you at all cost.
As you are reading this article, there is probably a long to-do list with many tasks that need your attention. Not all of them have the same importance and urgency.
Prioritize your tasks based on this order:
1) Important and Urgent
2) Important and Not Urgent
3) Not Important and Urgent
4) Not Important and Not Urgent
Begin your work by focusing on your most important and urgent tasks
Your colleague does not have to lose for you to win. Both of you can win. Do your best to bring the most out of every situation for you and your colleagues.
Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
It can be easy to just express your opinions and expect others to understand you. You may also pretend to be listening to your colleague while constantly scrolling down the Facebook feed, as he is talking. The real challenge can be for you to be an active listener.
Your friend deserves your full attention. When you are serious and seek first to understand, you are more likely to enjoy a reciprocal type of attention from your colleague as well.
Large projects represent the work produced by a lot of people. You must not even try to think that you can build projects of large scale that help millions of people all by yourself. You must be part of a team.
Be kind and supportive to other team members. Make them feel proud they are part of the same team as you.
Sharpen The Saw
Sharpening the saw means improving ourselves in all four aspects of our nature. These dimensions are physical, mental, social/emotional, and spiritual.
We must work out, eat healthy and meditate to improve ourselves physically.
We must master the fundamentals, and constantly learn new things and work on challenging tasks if we want to improve ourselves mentally.
We need to be helpful and feel empathy for our colleagues to improve ourselves socially and emotionally.
We need to grow and contribute to improve ourselves spiritually.
These were mostly short summaries of these habits. You can read each of them in detail here.