This 8 min routine has made me a more accurate and productive tester!

Good testing requires skills, concentration, knowledge, even a bit of luck.

I wrote some time back about I always try to work while being in my Testing Zone and I think this is one of the most important ways of improving your testing, especially in this age of open spaces and noisy environments.

But just like we need to constantly improve our skills, we should also improve our methods, and today I want to share a routine that has been helping me to improve my testing results even more.

My 8-minute testing setup routine

This 8 min routine has made me a more accurate and productive tester!I don’t recall how I started using mindfulness and meditation as part of my life, and I will definitely not go into that in detail today.  But I can say one of the apps that I use most on my phone is Headspace.

After a while of meditating almost daily, I had the idea of using very short meditation exercises (3 min long) to clear my mind before starting any intensive testing session – regardless if it is a scripted or exploratory testing session.  And this really helped me to be more productive in my testing from the start of the session, and not as I used to see that it would take me 5 to 10 min to actually get in my testing zone.

Then I decided to expand on this, and use a visualization technique I learned to improve my golf swing, where you close your eyes and you visualize once or twice the swing and stroke you want to do just before you stand in front of your golf ball.

So, what I started doing was, immediately after I calmed down with my short meditation, to visualize the testing session I was going to perform, thinking about scenarios and paths I wanted to take and the objective I wanted to achieve with the time I was going to spend.  I usually did this for about 2 to 3 minutes.

The final step on my testing setup routine is to make sure I write down to myself the objective and the main points that I visualized, to make sure I can get back to them once I am deeply involved in my testing session and make sure I am aligned with the goal I set to myself.  This takes about a minute or two.

A great feeling of accomplishment from being focused and on track from the start

I really wish I could analyze how my testing setup routine has helped me to become a better tester.

I do not have any concrete statistics to benchmark my testing today with regards to how it was before, and I think it would be a really bad use of time and efforts to do this since you cannot really benchmark the outcomes of testing sessions.

But I do feel that the biggest gain from this simple routine is that it helps me to be focused and really aligned with my testing goals from the very beginning of the testing session.  It also allows me to set up clear objectives for what I want to achieve, and this is something I can clearly validate once my testing session is over.

Come up with your own testing setup routine

meditate before a testing sessionSetup routines are nothing new, you see them in sports all the time, when the basketball player bounces the ball x-number of times before shooting the free-throw or when the tennis player stands in a special way and (again) bounces the ball before serve.

Each person comes up with the routine that helps him best.  And you should do the same.

Come up with your own personal testing setup routine and make sure you can be better and more effective with your own testing sessions.

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