In one way or another you are using task lists, I’m sure.
A task list – as the name suggests – is a list of tasks. How does it normally works?
While you are coding your brain (and/or the brain of your pair) try to escape It creates thoughts like:
- I need to test this and that as well
- Here it might be cool to clean up the campground
- The name of that class did not express the intention any longer, what is more suitable?
These ideas of other tests and possible refactorings keep you from the current task. To keep focus write them down. Free your mind. If you finished your task, take the next one from the list. New ideas? Add them. Let the task list evolve. Clean up your list frequently. If you have tasks that you won’t do shortly, create user stories and sell them to your product owner.
This practice allow you to keep focus on the current task without loosing your ideas. You’ll have less context switches. It makes you more productive. Try it!
TDD Task Lists With IntelliJ IDEA
I use this Task Plugin. It is simple and easy to use. Every action can be triggered with the keyboard. Changing keyboard mappings can be done classically with IDEA’s keyboard mapping. Because of the missing Insert key on my MacBookPro I remapped Add Task. To go quickly to the Task Tool Window you can either map it to a key or use the switcher (Ctrl-Tab on OSX):