As a programmer the more distractions you have, the less likely you can develop elegant solutions to problems. Distractions like email, Twitter, Facebook, your blog and people needing help forces you to divide your attention. The more time you spend on distractions, the less time you have for coding. You may think that multi-tasking or doing multiple tasks at one time makes you more efficient. Multi-tasking doesn’t work because it requires you to switch between tasks. When you switch, you lose focus, make mistakes and forget things. When you are coding, this means you create more bugs that you will have to fix later.
How do you get focus? Leo Babauta of ZenHabits.net wrote Focus: A simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction, a guide on how to focus on one task at a time, limit distractions and simplify your life. He provides you with tips for focusing, tools for beating distractions and finding simplicity. Focus helps you to decide what activities, website and other things you want to do and get rid of the distractions that don’t work for you. As a programmer, I found this guide to be useful for learning how to limit multi-tasking and focus on the project or problem at hand.