What we’re able to churn out every working day is determined by three things: what we decide to finish, how much energy we have, and the work environment. The first two are pretty manageable because we can plan our to do‘s the night before and we can rest enough to be able to perform. All it takes is self-discipline, something we control. Work environment, however, is an external stimulus.
I go to work in an office and I like to do all my testing work in the mornings as much as possible when there aren’t so many people coming in yet. That’s because I can’t concentrate anymore when people talk to me. Sometimes they ask for clarifications on the requirements, other times they just want to chat. Either way my focus will continue to shift from listening and replying to testing work then back to listening then back to testing work, which affects my output. After changing my schedule several times, I found it better to set aside time in the afternoon to help or lead my team and then just do the bulk of testing early in the morning. This works for me. If I didn’t do the work early, if I slack off in the morning, often I find myself feeling unproductive at the end of the day. I might have been able to help co-workers, answering their important questions or guiding them, but because I didn’t finish what I set out to complete I would feel like I did not do anything.
The stage where we do our work affects us in so many ways, most of which we do not often consider. So think about where you work, the place, the time, the culture of the people you meet and converse with, and use what you learn to help you accomplish things better.