Ryan Harter

Freelance Android Developer

One Question: Why?

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In January of 2013, I finally decided to make the leap and start my own consulting business. It’s only been 3 months since then, but I’ve already learned quite a lot from the experience.

After reading a recent article on Inc.com I couldn’t help but feel a little offended and reflective on my own experience in the workforce.

One thing that I’ve come to realize is how much more productive I feel now that I’m working for myself. It’s not just that I feel productive, I get projects done faster, build better stuff, and have learned an amazing amount in the last three months to become a much better programmer.

As I thought about why all of this might be it dawned on me that a big part of this new found productivity is that I’m no longer wasting my time on meaningless things.

I think back to all the time I spent in meetings in my previous life. Some were to solve actual technical problems, some were to keep management in the loop, and some were (once upon a time daily) ‘all-hands’ meetings.

Now I understand that as businesses grow they need these sorts of things simply to manage large teams of people. But you have to take into account the cost. I loved being informed of what was happening in my company, but daily all-hands meetings shut down the business for 45 minutes each day. Even at once per week there are times when that can be too much.

Every time you take developers away from developing it costs money. Not just the time they are gone, but all of the time it takes to get back into context afterwards. This is something that many don’t consider, but you should ask yourself regularly.

I now make it a point to consider why I’m doing something to determine if it’s worth it. Whether it’s updating my website, working on a new feature, or just watching tv, if I ask why then I can really boil down the things that are important and the things that only seem important.

Ask yourself why you do the things you do and maybe you’ll be able to save time and be more productive. Then you’ll have more time to do the things you want to do, not just the things you need to do.

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