You are going to LOVE this.
As you know, I worked on OneExtraLap (for those who don’t know, it is an addictive social quizzing site) mostly by myself, mostly being part-time, and obviously, being a 15-year-old. Some of you might be surprised by my high productivity, and some of you might start asking me - how can I utilize my tiny bit of time so well that I can crack up a powerful, intuitive, non-buggish application in 8 months?
Motivation is a crucial element. Because I understand and prioritize the importance of quality, since the very beginning of OneExtraLap, most people had been enjoying it. It was proven from dozens of positive tweets (examples) people sent out every time I released something brand new, and something that immediately surprised their minds. I am happy, I am honored, and I am consistently gaining motivation from those appreciations and encouragements. I can work relatively faster right now than what I could 8 months ago. Not because I am more familiar with the technical knowledge of I am doing, but because I have some strong, constant motivation that can make me write a model or design an icon quicker and better than before. There is always strong, invisible power that is pushing me forward.
That will lead to my next point, do what you enjoy. Let’s say you are a long-time iPhone developer, and someone offered you a freelance job - which is to develop an Windows Desktop game. Would you do it? Obviously, you wouldn’t. It will be just a full day of pain because you completely don’t know what you are doing. And you will probably quit your job within a day or two because you can’t accomplish any tasks in your work. So that means you simply can’t boost up your productivity if you are not in love with the fields you are working on.
Last thing I want to say is do not waste any seconds of time. I have much lesser time than any general web developers. During school seasons, I only have evenings and weekends. And there are only 2 months in a year when I can work full-time on my application. So I have to grasp all the time available for me. For example, I usually do work during commute to/from somewhere (this blog post was written on a day-trip to Monterey Bay yesterday), I usually check emails/Twitter before going to bed or after waking up in the morning. And it will be a whole chunk of time once you add it up.
Though one area I want to improve on is to stay one thing at one time. I am currently not doing well at this. While I was coding, I always had a blog post idea that I want to write immediately. But when I started writing the blog post for a couple minutes or so, I get bored and want to switch back to coding mode. What it lead to was a huge amount of incomplete work. I currently have 8 drafts in my Tumblr that are started but never finished.
I hope I can improve on this in the near future.