There are times when you manage to finish your tasks earlier than the deadlines. When you don’t have any tasks left, it creates spare time. Is it good or bad when you get that spare time? In my opinion, that means you did a great job at doing your tasks, or your tasks are indeed not much at that time. When you have spare time, you can do several things to spend it. How can you manage to finish your tasks earlier? What should you do in your spare time? You may get some ideas by reading the article below. It’s not about right or wrong, it’s just my opinion based on my experience.
Motivations to Finish Your Tasks Early
If you want to get spare time in your work hour, then you should finish your tasks earlier. If you feel that’s too difficult to finish all your tasks, I think it’s okay to rest a bit and do something else in the middle of your work. BUT REMEMBER, it can only be done if you’re really sure you could finish it later before the deadline. There are several motivations you can think of to increase your morale at finishing your tasks early.
Think About Your Teammate
As a developer, it’s common to work in a team. It’s usually divided into back-end developer, front-end developer, and tester or quality assurance. With those roles, some tasks may depend on other tasks. For example, the front-end developer may only start their work only if the back-end developer has done their part. Same goes for the tester. The tester can only start testing if the system has been built, either per part or fully developed. If we have that kind of consideration, we might be able to finish our tasks early because we don’t want to slow down our teammates’ work.
When you get new tasks, try to immediately work on it if you don’t have other deadlines. If you have, it’s best to finish the task with an earlier deadline. Even so, there are many factors that can affect your performance at doing your task, mainly mood. Let’s say you get project A and B. Project A’s deadline is sooner than project B, but your mood says you don’t want to work on project A first because you get stuck or you don’t like the task. I think it’s okay if you want to work on project B first, but you have to make sure you finish project A in time.
Forcing yourself in doing something you don’t want to do can end up not good because it may make you use inefficient codes or algorithms as long as your work is done. But it’s your job as a developer, right? And as I said in the previous part, we have to think about our teammates too. They may need our task to finish first so they can continue working on their part. With these motivations, we may be able to finish our tasks early and create that spare time.
How to Spend Your Spare Time in A Better Way
When you do all the things in previous parts, you may achieve the spare time. Don’t blame your project manager when you don’t have any tasks left, because it’s not their fault. They might have given you the right portion, but you just managed to finish it long before the deadline. That just means your programming skill has improved. When this condition occurs, there are some ways to spend your spare time.
Improving yourself is one good way to spend your spare time, either improving your soft skills or hard skills. By improving your skills, your value will be raised. The more your value is raised, the more people will acknowledge you and want you to work with them. That gives you the opportunity to choose and get your most preferable job. Having a high value can make people acknowledge your company too. These parts below show some ways to improve your skill.
Deepen Your Skill and Knowledge
As fellow developers, we must have used one or more programming languages. I’ve been told by some senior developers out there that it would be more useful if you mastered a few programming languages rather than having a bit of knowledge in every language. For example, if you want to be a back-end developer, then it’s best to deepen your skill in every back-end programming. It’s good if you want to learn front-end programming too, but it would be better if you focus on your back-end skills. Based on the data I found from LinkedIn, most companies divide the programmer into two main divisions afterall, which is front-end and back-end developer.
I once asked my superior about what I should do when I don’t have any tasks left. He said that I could ask my teammates if they need my help with their task. If they do, we can spend our spare time helping them. Don’t take that as a nuisance though. If we take it as a nuisance, it will be harder to finish the new task because we will think ”Why do I have to do other people’s work?”. Change your mindset. When you get the chance to do that, you’ve gained more skill and experience without realizing it. With that motivation in mind, you will feel less burdened with the new task.
Explore New Technologies
As technology always evolves, you are driven to follow and adapt to the newest technology. You may find information about latest technologies by searching it on Google, following IT accounts on social media, etc. If you want to learn the new technology or programming language, you can try the tutorial made by others or read the manual book. There must be at least a manual book about the language or else no one can use it. It’s great if you can follow the tutorial and make your own small program as practice, but some devices (like laptop or PC) just can’t install too many applications because of their limitations, so it’s okay to just watch or read the tutorial. At least you get the basic idea about it.
Another idea is to learn about hacking. Some people find it interesting, right? Wait, don’t be the Black Hat Hacker though, be the White Hat Hacker. Black Hat Hacker is someone who breaks into systems, steals information, manipulates data, and compromises security, while White Hat Hacker is someone who protects data against Black Hat Hacker. If you become a Black Hat Hacker, you may have to face the police in the future and of course it does no good for you and your family. But if you become the White Hat Hacker, you will be a very useful employee in your company. By trying to hack your own system, you will find its weaknesses and be able to raise its security for the future.
Write More Articles
The developers might be known for their difficulty in communicating, maybe because we interact more with our devices rather than actual people. If you have the same difficulty, try to interact through your writing. Writing an article like this actually gives you some benefits. Your skill in arranging words will increase and you will get some knowledge if you read and use references. It doesn’t have to be a long writing. It’s fine to write about your experience as a developer, or if you find an interesting technology you can share it with others. You may write anything you like too as long as it’s proper.
Once again, this article is based on experience and opinion so it’s not about right or wrong. If you like to do your work leisurely and finish it on time, then it’s okay. If you want to do something else besides your work, then you can make use of some ideas above. Don’t rush your work though if you want to achieve that spare time, it can make your work end in bad results. If it ends in bad results, it will prolong your work time because you have to fix it now.