How to optimize your workflows with shortcuts and custom tools

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“If I only had an hour to chop down a tree, I would spend the first 45 minutes sharpening my axe.”
– Abraham Lincoln.

The following relevant XKCD comic displays what calculations go on in my head when I think about automating a task. There are many things we do through the day, that could be automated or even improved by stepping back and thinking how to solve the problem in a better way.

Is It Worth the Time?
Is It Worth the Time?
If there is a task that I have to do often, I should spend time trying to improve it.
  • Use tools like nodemon that watch for file changes and rerun the program/recompile the app so you don’t need to do it yourself.
  • When debugging a issue which needs a lot of time to compile every time you run it, write a smaller program that only contains the issue
  • When something bothers you every time you use it, spend some time and try to find a solution.
    • E.g. the iPhone Simulator not rotating with the app. I found an option in the settings where you can make the Simulator rotate with the app orientation.
    • The iPhone Simulator not having the right keyboard layout when using the hardware keyboard. I looked it up and found out you can change it in the settings, which makes typing in e-mails and passwords much easier.

Doing these things, taking a step back, and trying to improve your processes is always a learning experience, and worth it.

So next time you get annoyed at something, or realize that you always spend a lot of time on an issue, try to sharpen your axe.

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