Work Smart, Not Hard

Lesson's Master Action

  1. Ask yourself "Am I doing this in the best possible way?". Build a habit of doing it every day.
  2. Identify ineffective activities or something that you don't like doing.
  3. Make a plan on how to change it so that it becomes more effective or pleasant.
  4. If it's not possible, find people who are more suitable for those tasks. Outsource it.

Some people are 25 times more productive than most in software engineering jobs.

We also know that there are “gelled teams” which are consistently 10 times more productive than most across the whole project lifecycle.

Do you know why?

In this lesson, we will cover:

How Effective Web Agencies Work

I had an interesting meeting with a web agency.

Their developers were paid much better than most in the market, they had social activities almost every day and they didn't have fixed office hours.

They all seemed relaxed and chilled.

So I asked: "How do you manage to pay such good salaries without working 24 hours per day?"

Their answer was: "We work smart, that's why we don't work hard."

So I said: "Okay that's interesting, but don't you think all developers are smart people in general? Most of them work much harder and don't earn a fraction of what you pay. What do you mean by working smart?"

They explained that on a daily basis, regular developers engage in many uninteresting activities that don't bring much profit. Usually it's deployments, managing infrastructure, writing specifications, documentation, compilation, etc.

They outsourced 75% of their work so that they could focus only on what they truly loved - coding and making their end users happy.

As a developer, do you find yourself working on something that you don't like?

Usually it has nothing to do with coding, right?

How I Crashed A Mission Critical Server

Let me tell you my personal story.

I'm a developer by trade. I didn't know much about server management.

I remember when I tried to manage the server on console, I made a deadly mistake.

I typed a slash character at the wrong place and I literally crashed the server. It became insecure and vulnerable to the whole world. 

We had to quickly rebuild our whole system on a new server. It took about 8 hours.

We worked really hard (if you catch my drift).

This wouldn't have happened if we had outsourced server management to a specialized company.

It would have cost us just a fraction of what we spent for 8 hours of three engineers work.

Meanwhile, our mission critical tasks suffered because part of the engineers were busy fixing the server.

Isn't that kind of hard work stupid?

Some developers feel pride when they don't spend the whole day coding.

Sometimes they help their colleagues or clients with their computer problems. Sometimes they try to reinvent the wheel in coding practices or deployment workflows.

Everyone is telling that it's normal for developers to spend 30-50% of their time on something else than coding.

Maybe. But for me it's bullshit. Because by being normal you never become rich. If you believe in that, you have a victim mindset.

How To Improve Your Workflow

Do you want to be a truly exceptional developer?

Then ask yourself every day:

"Am I doing this task in the best possible way?"

Do it when your mind and emotions are calm, because you need to be fully honest with yourself.

For me the most effective time for this question is mornings or evenings just before I go to bed.

When you realize you're doing something you shouldn't - either change it to something more meaningful or outsource it.

Do you think you can do everything on your own? If you do, you have a mindset of poor people.

Look at rich people: they never do everything themselves. They do just what they love and outsource everything else.

Do you think it's wrong to outsource something you hate doing (like cleaning)?

Then think about Dr. John Demartini. He's one of the richest intellectuals I've personally met.

He told me he outsourced everything (yes, everything!) from his professional life except 3 things:

  • learning
  • teaching
  • traveling around the world

By doing this for 44 years, he was able to read 10,000 books and reach an audience of 2.8 billion people.

What if he had to go to a bookstore to buy all these books by himself? What if he had to organize all the TV shows where he appeared by himself? What if he had to design and print all his teaching material by himself?

He even told me a secret that blowed me away...

He doesn't even come up with seminar topics by himself.

It's done by his assistants. Because they know he can talk about anything.

Then, during the seminars, he just talks on the spot.

He wouldn't be able to do that if he didn't spend so much time learning. And that wouldn't be possible if he didn't focus on just what he loved.

Learn from Dr. Demartini. He doesn't try to fool the universe. He knows that if you do ONLY what you love - you will be happy and rich.

Biggest Time Thieves For Developers

According to a survey conducted by software delivery service Electric Cloud, developers spend almost 20% of their time… waiting. Waiting for their code to compile. Waiting for test routines to finish running. Waiting for that young developer to get back with the Diet Coke.

Most developers don't have neither automatic deployment nor managed infrastructure in place. Why do it all yourself when you can use serverless cloud? Let the cloud size your resources automatically according to your needs, so you don't care about managing it anymore.

Why spend weeks writing specifications for your next software project? Only to find out that it's way off of what customers actually wanted.

Why not sit together with the end customers from Day 1, start coding what they actually need and get immediate feedback about your features?

Learn to work smart, because that's what makes you the Unbeatable Developer.

Master Action

To take immediate benefit from this lesson, I ask you to do the following in the next 24 hours:

  1. Ask yourself "Am I doing this in the best possible way?". Build a habit of doing it every day.
  2. Identify ineffective activities or something that you don't like doing.
  3. Make a plan on how to change it so that it becomes more effective or pleasant.
  4. If it's not possible, find people who are more suitable for those tasks. Outsource it.

As an Unbeatable Developer Academy student, your goal is to bring exceptional value to the world.

If you're not spending most of your time doing what you love - you will never achieve it and you will never become rich.

By keeping something that you don't like for yourself - you're fooling the Universe and hurting other people who would find your unpleasant activities inspiring.

Learn to let it go. Your destiny is not to be among average people. Your destiny is to be among those who shape the world.

Tomas is former CTO and expert developer with 12 years of experience.

He helps developers uncover their full potential at Unbeatable Developer Academy.

His mission is to help 100 million people achieve more freedom in their lives.


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