Our co-worker Xabier Arbulu on what productivity means to him, what he is doing in Gran Canaria, and how he stays efficient.
My name is Xabier. I’m from Spain (Basque country) and I work as a software engineer in Suse. I came to Gran Canaria more or less one year ago because I started working at a local company. Anyway, since some time ago I was looking for fully remote positions when a really good opportunity came up and I caught it! Since last October, I’m working fully remotely from Gran Canaria for a German company. Even though I like to work from home, it’s good to change my work environment from time to time. I started going to CoworkingC last February, looking for a friendly community, and so far, I’m really happy with my decision.
Since I started working remotely I wouldn’t change it for anything!
What does productivity mean to you?
Personally, I think being productive means to finish your duties correctly in the shortest possible time. Besides, to achieve that, you need to know perfectly which are the expectations and work you have to finish.
Basically get the things done in the best and shortest way!
Do you feel like you are the most productive you could be? How do you approach productivity for yourself?
I think I’m quite productive. Obviously there are things to improve, but most of the times I finish everything I plan in the established deadlines and with a good result (personal opinion of course). I avoid procrastination as much as I can and work accordingly to my initial planning (yes, I like to plan and see things happening accordingly XD).
In order to be productive, I always try to work in the most important things of the day first. I like to wake up early and start working when most of my colleagues are still sleeping (around 7:30). This moment is for me. No distractions, no social media, no mettings, etc. After that, I feel that I have done many things already!
What is the most common barrier to staying productive for you?
Meetings and mails. As a software engineer I don’t really like to spend time in not extremely needed meetings. I consider that my work is to create things, and to do so, I need time to focus and stay working on the things I need to deliver. My personal opinion is that most of the companies like to do unnecessary meetings.
Can you share with us your productivity tips or rituals you might have?
Wake up early and try to work on my most important things first thing in the day. For that, I put my phone away (no facebook, whatsapp, mail, etc). In our work team, we follow the scrum methodology, so we mostly know which are the most important things that we need to work.
If I didn’t finish something the day before, I try to continue with that, otherwise, I go to our scrum board and start with the most priority task.
Who is your productivity idol if you had to pick one?
I don’t really have any productivity idol. So far, I try to work in the ways that I know works for me and try to be consistent.
What never fails to get you out of a work slump?
I need to be motivated, otherwise everything is more complicated. I need to have projects that are really appealing and makes me think that what I do is awesome! When I feel I’m lacking motivation, I try to talk with my manager to change my duties to something more interesting!
Having deadlines always helps me as well, as I need to feel some pressure and that makes me stay focused. After that, put some music, my headphones, phone to airplane mode, close the mail client, and to code!
Thanks for reading, and remember, if you would also like to be a part of our Productivity Series, by sharing your story or some useful tips, get in touch with us as firstname.lastname@example.org.