And if you have to continue working in the evening, track those tasks as well. This serves the purpose of identifying gaps in productivity that can then be fine-tuned.
Now its important to be honest and stick with your tracking for a full week. It will be a pain, but it will pay off. So things like checking Facebook and texting conversations with your friends need to be accounted for.
Of course, it wont be easy to swallow the results, but through this task tracking youll likely see areas where time is being unnecessarily wasted and you can start to move these activities outside of work.
You may also find through examining your journal that there are work tasks where you could be more efficient. Many developers find themselves jumping from task to task, and therefore lose time having to leave a coding project, then trying to come back to it later. Maybe set aside a period of time each day where you focus on one task and take no phone calls and dont answer emails.
Second, find ways to operate as a team more efficiently. If you dont follow a development methodology, consider implementing an approach like Agile to crank out more code. Make sure youre never reinventing the wheel. Reuse code. Instead of building from scratch, be smart about buying software that may have just the features you require or at least can be easily customized.
You may want to engage a Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) expert. When CMMI is applied to an existing software development process, it allows for an effective approach toward improving them.
CMMI has become synonymous with quality improvement, but dont forget it all started with improving the process of software development. Theres a lot of good information and help out there on this topic.
Third, work to find better ways to communicate, especially priorities. Miscommunication can be a real time killer. Make sure everyones work responsibilities and project assignments are crystal clear.
If a business user is going directly to a developer requesting changes to applications instead of not going through that developers manager then theres a communications issue needing to be addressed. Put in place clear processes for communicating assignments and tracking progress.
After improving your time management, and finding where process improvement makes sense, along with streamlining communication of priorities, you just might find you spend less time suffering under your difficult situation and you have more time to reach out and console your laid off former teammates.