An easy way to increase programming productivity

Interruptions are a hassle and major distraction for programmers, says David Bolton, Dice's Community Guide for C++ and C#.

To program efficiently, you need to get into the zone, which he says can be extraordinarily difficult thanks to e-mail, office colleagues, instant messaging and other interruptions.

"One of the worst things for programmers is being interrupted. Studies have shown it can take up to a half an hour to regain your concentration after an interruption," he notes.

There are various ways programmers can find zone nirvana, and one of Bolton's favorites is combining noise-reduction headphones and background music/ambient noise.

"This will cut out the background noise, the office noise, and it will really let you focus on what you're doing," he notes. "I try to do this everyday because my productivity doubles, triples, maybe more, and I can just whiz through code, solving problems."

Other suggestions for reducing distractions:

  • Ask colleagues to respect your headphones, i.e., if you're wearing them that means you do not want to be disturbed.
  • Close e-mail, instant messaging or any other non-critical apps that send alerts and could grab your attention.
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