I have recently become more engaged to this and other Stack Exchange sites, and I am happy with it. Since I joined the network, the questions and answers I have seen in TWP, Stack Overflow, and other sites have been very useful in many technical and professional ways, and have helped me grow and learn things.

However, I have been noticing that lately my productivity at works seems to be going down as a consequence of this increased engagement to SE.

As my job involves coding, Stack Overflow is a great resource of information on many subjects, so I constantly find myself searching or asking for answers on it during work time. Also, as a working human being, TWP provides me with many answers about professional behavior, so I also constantly find myself coming here.

However, after searching for questions and answers (most of the times on SO, as they are job related), I can't avoid the urge am drawn to doing some reviews, comment on some posts here and there, edit some other post to improve its quality, and also answering some questions on the sites I belong to. I have even found myself refreshing the homepage several times to see if some new post appears that I can contribute to.

This I fear has taken a toll on my productivity at work (not that others have noticed, but is something I fell it's happening). I don't want to stop interacting on SE communities as a solution, nor I can't as they contain relevant information for my work as developer. What strategies or actions could I take to better manage my time at work and on SE sites?

Note: Two related questions I read but did not help me much where: Team members spending too much time on Stack Overflow and My manager said I spend too much time on Stack Exchange. How can I prove its value?

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    I'm inclined to say this would be a much better fit on [productivity.se]. This isn't really workplace specific and is purely a productivity issue. Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 19:52
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    How much time you spend on Stack Exchange (outside of what's necessary to do your job) versus working is completely up to you. If you've already made that decision, it becomes purely an issue of multitasking (regardless of whether it's the necessary or optional part of using Stack Exchange you want to multitask). It's probably not an issue at home because you're not trying to multitask there, or you're doing tasks not requiring a lot of continuous focus, but it can be an issue at home for others. Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 20:39
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    Isn't it a symptom that your job is not interesting to you anymore?
    – sergiol
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 1:31
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    Log off the SE network while you're at work (and browse questions/answers only). Leave the editing, commenting, asking and answering for non work hours.
    – Brandin
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 7:01
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    As a mod on Productivity, I'd happily welcome this question there if someone wanted to migrate it. There may be a partial duplicate, but I think this question is better.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 8:25

3 Answers 3


What strategies or actions could I take to better manage my time at work and on SE sites?

Prioritize the work you get paid to do.

If SE generally (SO, Software Engineering, Code Review) gives you answers that help your coding, then that should be a higher priority than simply contributing at places like TWP.

Make optional participation a reward for getting your critical work done. I also spend some time contributing to this site, but when things get busy I might take a multi-week break because it becomes a way to procrastinate.

You can also contribute during off-work hours as a way to prevent yourself from taking work home with you, and to be able to participate without taking time away from your work productivity.

  • I like the idea of seeing it as a reward after getting job done. This will encourage to finish job tasks so then one can take a break by helping on SE. +1
    – DarkCygnus
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 20:02

Visit SE only when you don't have anything else to do, unless you need to consult something work-related on SO.

Sometimes I cannot do anything else until the project is compiled or the server is initialized., it's when I visit SE until I can resume my work.

Usually when I find some question interesting and there is no time to read it or it isn't suited for viewing it at work, I send the URL to myself throught instant message for reading it at home.

You could do the same, if after consulting something at SO you found an interesting question, save it on a note (on your computer or on a cloud service), on an e-mail draft, send it to you throught Telegram/Messenger/Skype/Slack/etc... or bookmark it on your browser.


You can also set a timer and keep track of the time you are spending here. If you are on the site to search for information, and then you find yourself getting "caught" by the site after you have found the information you are looking for, set a timer for 10 minutes (on your phone or computer), and when the timer goes off, leave the site. If you are in the middle of an answer, copy the text you have written so far into a word processing document and save it there. That way the next time you have time to spend on the site, you can paste it back into an answer field and keep going.

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