Distracted at Work? 3 Simple Tricks to Get You Focused

tips for focusingIn the world of technology, distractions are everywhere. Pinging notifications have a way of popping up on our phones and computers, and then an hour later, we find ourselves trying to remember what it was we were doing in the first place. However, when it comes to staying focused at work, it's just a matter of building good habits that will stand the test of time (or at least get you to the end of the work day). Here are a few tips for focusing amidst the mountain of emails and instant messages that are sure to come your way. 

3 Tips for Focusing At Work:

  1. Set specific goals.

    Part of the reason we get distracted at all at work is that we are bored or overwhelmed by the task at hand. However, knowing your priorities and setting goals can help minimize any attempt at procrastination. One of the best tips for focusing is proper goal setting. Proper goal setting works best when you break down each goal into reasonable time blocked tasks. Outlining all the steps it will take to accomplish what you want and then giving yourself a time limit for each one will help motivate you to meet your potential and fulfill your deadlines.  Make sure the goals you set are SMART; meaning they are specific, measurable, assignable, relevant, and timely. This will ensure that you aren’t overwhelming yourself or wasting time on unattainable projects. Also try tackling the hardest tasks at the beginning of the day when you’re most energized and have loads of time ahead of you, and save the more routine things on your to do list for the end of the day when you’re brain and attention span is winding down. This way you won’t be as stressed or pushed for time on an important project.
  2. Take breaks.

    It’s important to step back every once in a while, and if you do so regularly, you’ll find yourself less prone to give into the little distractions that present themselves throughout the day because you’ve already taken a break. For example, after spending a period of time hard at work, try rewarding yourself by getting up and walking around, grabbing a cup of coffee, filling up your water bottle, or even eating a mid afternoon treat. You can control the temptation to constantly check emails, social media, and text messages by setting aside a specific about of time in your workday for it. Catch up with your peers during lunch, so you don't find yourself chitchatting at your desk instead of working. It also helps if your work space is somewhat enjoyable. So if you can, listen to background music to pump you up or keep your brain relaxed.
  3. Regulate technology.

    \ When you’re in the office, why not make your devices work for you? Take advantage of the many apps out there that can track your time spent on certain sites, and even block those that you are prone to linger on for too long like YouTube or Facebook. Additionally, consider disabling your phone by turning it on silent, or having calls go directly to voicemail so you’re not interrupted unnecessarily during work hours. Keeping any handheld devices in your bag, or face down on your desk so you can’t see if the screen lights up, will also help prevent you from being pulled off track.
At Number8, we believe one of the keys to achieving your business's goals is great IT that supports your company. We help businesses access great IT by connecting them with remote workers that utilize best-practice tools and processes. If you’re interested in learning more about Number8 and what we do, give us a call at (502) 890-7665, or check out our information page!

Software Developer Levels: What are the Major Differences?

August 17, 2017 / in Blog, Careers, / by Number8

There is ambiguity in defining software developer levels. Specific factors affect the rankings of software developers, but they are not always obvious. Differentiating between the software developer levels can be difficult because there isn’t a set list of requirements for each position. Many companies set their own categories to classify their developers. Even though the distinctions vary across companies, there are overarching characteristics that distinguish between junior, intermediate, and senior software developers.

Uncoding Different Software Developer Levels

Experience

Different Levels of Software Developers. The most obvious way to differentiate between developers is their level of experience. If the developer just recently graduated from school and has been in the field less than two years, he is entry level. Beyond that, it is more complicated to determine how experienced a developer is. Time does not always indicate expertise. If you want to hire someone who labels themselves as a senior developer, you should make sure their knowledge justifies their title. Companies often define their developers based on the time they’ve been with the business, not necessarily because of skill level.

Attitude

Attitude is a great indication of experience and maturity in software developers. Those who are able to take charge of new projects, and lead other developers should be considered intermediate, to senior level. The ability to serve as a leader is incredibly valuable within the world of software development. An intermediate, or senior level developer will also be able to recognize when a project is lacking in direction. They won't hesitate to take over and steer other employees in the right direction. Less experienced developers will be resistant to leadership because they won't be as confident in their abilities.

Autonomy

Independence is something that comes hand in hand with experience. Once you have worked as a developer for enough time, you'll be able to operate without much guidance. Entry level developers require constant attention and feedback from superiors. Newer developers also won't be able to problem solve to the same ability as an intermediate or senior developer. They won't have as much reference, and will often have to get a second opinion on their work.

Responsibility

Along with all of the above characteristics comes an increased amount of responsibility. Higher level developers will have more work on their plates, and will be working on more difficult projects. But expert level developers are able to handle the work in an efficient manner,  while lower level developers will struggle to keep up. At Number8 we educate all of our developers as much as possible to help them work their way up to higher levels. We are very thorough in our hiring process to ensure that any developers who refer to themselves as experts can prove their abilities. Are you interested in learning more about our developers, or do you think you are qualified to join our team? Then give us a call at (502) 890-7665 today!

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