iOhYes Retired


A podcast by iOS developers for iOS developers, delivering news, tips, and rants for professional iOS/Mac developers, with something for enterprise and indie developers alike.

Hosted by Darryl Thomas and John Sextro.

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105: Developer Productivity

March 30, 2016 at 10:30AM • 51 minutes • Wiki Entry

Motivation / Staying Productive


Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Flow theory postulates three conditions that have to be met to achieve a flow state:

  1. One must be involved in an activity with a clear set of goals and progress. This adds direction and structure to the task.
  2. The task at hand must have clear and immediate feedback. This helps the person negotiate any changing demands and allows them to adjust their performance to maintain the flow state.
  3. One must have a good balance between the perceived challenges of the task at hand and their own perceived skills. One must have confidence in one's ability to complete the task at hand.

Clear Distractions

  • What things easily distract you when you need to get work done
  • Make a list of these things
  • Twitter, imgur, reddit, tv, music
  • Clear these distractions
  • Use a distraction free setting
  • Get comfortable
  • Change your setting


  • Workout metaphor
  • Hard to slack
  • Intensity
  • Don't have to do it every day

Just 5 minutes

  • I use this technique with my kids for studying
  • 5 minutes doesn't really work for me
  • Instead I say write 5 lines
  • Sunk cost fallacy works in our favor
  • I'm already here. I have something started. I might as well keep going.

Push the peanut forward

  • You don't have to love it
  • You recognize that you just need to make some progress
  • Commit to sit down and get started

Free Writing

  • Used by writer
  • Set a timer, at least 5 minutes
  • Don't use the IDE
  • Don't write actual code, just pseudo code
  • Don't think just let the pseudo code flow

Pomodoro Method

  • Sit down in front of your computer
  • Set a 20 minute timer
  • You must take a 5 minute break
  • The importance of the break, related to exercise

David Burns MD

  • Write down, on a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied do you think that you will feel by completing the work that you need to do
  • Write down, on a scale of 1 to 10, how painful will it be to do the work
  • Do this before as an estimate and then after recording the actual
  • Keep a running list and refer to it often

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