If you are a programmer — everything human is not alien to you. And, most likely, you are faced with the issues of self-development and increasing your effectiveness both professionally and personally. I don’t know if you’ve failed or thrived, and how motivated you were to achieve your goals, but let me give you a concept that you’re probably familiar with, which is reflected in my diary, which I’m going to talk about today.

I want to invite you to a dialogue about improving the personal effectiveness of programmers.

You should agree, it would be useful for you as a programmer to have your own project.

It can be a website, an app, or just a program on GitHub.

Potential advantages:

own software products can bring additional income; you’ll have experience in project management and marketing; it is an incredible opportunity to raise your skills in programming; it is possible to expand the circle of communication, primarily because of the users of the application.

Possible drawbacks:

Your project will take the lion’s share of free time before; also, you may encounter trolls. A mountain of extra work and depression from the fact that nothing works and the end and the edge of it is not visible.

  • Fitness

You have a sedentary job and, so you need a fitness for your health. This includes sporting in sports associations, exercising in fitness centres. Three times a week workout is perfect, once a week is fine. In fact, any physical activity, whether swimming or cycling, will be considered a workout. Quitting to use products of the alcohol and tobacco industries for figure and health would also be fine, but in this case, it’s up to you.

  • Pump a foreign language

For example, English is widely used in work and it is often necessary for career growth and business trips. We all read English very well. But writing or speaking without mistakes, as a rule, is the problem. By the way, to learn German is also very promising.

  • Read and learn a lot.

Programmers are unique people. The peculiarity of the profession is that you need to learn continually. You should learn new languages and technologies.

  • And it is also essential to talk about your work publicly.

If you work a lot and write a lot of lines of almost perfect code, but nobody has heard about it directly (your boss, colleagues, and other programmers), you miss a lot of opportunities. That’s significant. To advance your career, to promote your apps or websites, you need to talk or write about what you’re doing actively. This point is quite essential, and, in my opinion, many programmers do not attach importance to this.

  • And it would be proper not always to work, but to be able to relax, travel more and spend time with your family.

To implement the plan, you need motivation. And motivation wants results; otherwise, it disappears. So, I suggest that we approach our business as a personal project and goal planning as a short-distance sports race. The distance will be for two weeks. These two weeks are not scientifically proven and not confirmed, taken from personal experience.

So, to somehow move in the direction voiced above print the diary on the printer in the booklet format (do it yourself). It turns out a small notebook. Stapler and go.

In the beginning, you should set goals for two weeks, or prescribe expectations of the sprint. How do you imagine the result of your actions in two weeks?

Every day activity:

Fill out the date for orientation in time and space. Fill out sleep time.

Next, it is proposed to mark the high-priority tasks of the day. They are based on the above goals.

These include:

  • Pay attention to your project
  • Work out / walk
  • Read a book
  • Create a post in (any social network or own blog)

Fill the skill tracker (the «Skill tracker» is used to form habits. You should mark the repetitive daily activities to make a habit.)

Next are the work tasks (for your main job, if any); tasks for your project (which is supposed to be merely obligatory for you); personal tasks/household tasks.

At the end of the day, you should mark health, productivity, and mood levels. These statistics will help you to understand your condition and health status.

And, of course, if you have The Thought of the Day, you need to write it down. Thoughts and ideas that come to your mind can also be recorded on the pages of “Ideas.”

It is assumed that you read every day. The diary provides a page «Books». It will be great if you will write publicly about the book you read, to put information in your head better.

If you manage to attend courses, lectures, conferences, you should record it. And you should try that the table was not empty.

At the end of the sprint, fill in the «Results». Compare your expectations that are recorded at the beginning with reality, then think what can be done better to advance towards your goals. You shouldn’t blame yourself for failure, think, and gear up for productive work in the next sprint.

At the end of each sprint, I suggest rewarding yourself with a trip. Travel can be any, in a neighboring town or to your grandmother in the village.

When you record and track everything, you see where you are working hard and where you are just lazy.

At the end of the diary, there is a «Diary» for each day of the sprint. The diary is needed to put your thoughts in order. If something bothers you, be sure to write it down, do not keep everything in mind. You should fill it according to your mood and desire.

I called the diary «Sprintets» It helps me organize my affairs more efficiently. Although, of course, this is not a magic pill from procrastination and maybe every person should have diary suitable individually only to him.

Try it, maybe you’ll become more productive with your great goals.

A PDF version of the diary is on GitHub. Thanks in advance for the feedback (send it to sprintets@handcrafted.software).

Good Luck!