Determining if you are a low performer

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Created: February 28, 2020 / Updated: February 29, 2020 / Status: finished / 2 min read (~320 words)

How can you tell if you are a low performer?

I always prefer to compare myself against my prior self and not against others. Thus, I would consider myself a low performer if my throughput is lower than what it has been on average in the past. This may happen for many reasons, amongst them it would be because I'm learning something new, so I'm spending a good chunk of my time on learning and less on executing. It might be because I'm trying different ideas to find the best one because I'm working on something I've never worked before.

It's generally easy for a programmer to tell whether he's been more or less productive than the prior week. It is mostly based on feelings, where you feel good when you are productive and less good when you're not making any progress or facing issues.

If you think and feel that you are performing poorly, start recording more thoroughly what you are working on. Identify when you start and finish working on a task, and when you get blocked, write down why. After a few weeks, look at what you wrote and assess what might cause you to feel that you are a low performer. Is it because you're working on a task you are not good at? Is it because of a lack of motivation on the task you've been assigned to?

With more information in hand to determine why you feel that you are a low performer, you will be able to devise a plan so that you can once again feel like a high performer.