Lev Kravinsky on procrastination and staying productive


Our interview series asks developers, designers, and other knowledge workers to share their favorite productivity tools and techniques, and how they overcome struggles like procrastination and distraction. Read all our interview posts here.

Please welcome Lev Kravinsky to the RescueTime blog! Lev is a software engineer whose current project is Everydev, “A job board built on inclusivity and individuality, featuring companies that care.”

Can you tell us what you do, and what your typical workday looks like?

Right now, I split my time between building products and freelancing. My typical work day is usually spent about half writing code at my desk (or in a coffeeshop) and half doing marketing, sales, copy, and all other sorts of tasks that are not quite as interesting to me as software.

Do you have a morning routine as part of waking up or starting your workday? What does your routine consist of?

My morning routine varies, but on an ideal day, I wake up around 7:30am, eat breakfast, go to the gym for an hour, shower, and then get ready to work. In reality, I often am too tired to go to the gym and just waste time on my phone in my bed, but I’m trying to cut back on that.

What’s the first thing you normally do when you start work/arrive at your office/desk?

The first thing I do when I go to my desk is check my email and Slack, browse HackerNews and ProductHunt for anything interesting to check out, and look at traffic or revenue analytics. Then, I create a daily to-do list of what I believe I can/should accomplish today.


What’s your favorite thing about your daily workspace?

My favorite thing about my workspace is my monitor – I absolutely love having a big screen.

What does a successful workday look like for you? How do you measure success on a day-to-day basis?

A successful workday for me involves pushing features to production, making product sales or landing clients, and having some time for myself to go to the gym, read, or watch a movie. I measure success by evaluating 3 things – how many of the tasks I said I would complete that I actually completed, how many sales/clients I landed, and how happy/fulfilled I am (this is the most important one).

What’s your biggest productivity struggle? How do you deal with that?

My biggest productivity struggle is probably procrastination – I often have the urge to just zone out and watch Netflix or order food when I should be doing something productive that I don’t want to do.

How does RescueTime fit into your workday?

RescueTime is something that I don’t use every day, because obsessing over time too much stresses me out. I use it more retrospectively to look back on a week or a month. From that viewpoint, I can see if I was productive or not, and make adjustments for next month accordingly.

How do you plan for mid-term and long-term work? Do you set goals, conduct regular reviews, or do other planning for big projects?

For mid and long term work, I use project planning boards like Trello or Waffle and Google Docs.

What are the most important tools, apps, tricks, or techniques that help you stay focused and productive during the workday?

One of the most important tricks for me that keeps me productive is to use the Pomorodo timer technique, where I spend 25 minutes working and then take a 5 minute break. I often have the urge to work through the break, especially when I feel like I’m being very productive, but I almost always am better off if I just take the break.

What are you working on right now (or coming up) that you’re most excited about?

Right now, I’m working on launching Everydev, a job board that features inclusive companies. I’m really excited about this and can’t wait to see what people think. You can check it out here, at everydev.io.

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Belle B. Cooper

Belle is an iOS developer, writer, and co-founder of Melbourne-based software company Hello Code. She writes about productivity, lifehacks, and finding ways to do more meaningful work.