Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Focus, Man. Geez.

I put Focus Booster to the test today. Haven't heard the buzz? It's a free productivity software available for your desktop or smart phone that is beautifully simple in concept. Essentially a tiny stopwatch, it's based upon the pomodoro method of time management, developed in the 1980s to optimize brain function and concentration.

According to the site, "There are five basic steps to implementing the technique:
*decide on the task to be done
*set the pomodoro (timer) to 25 minutes
*work on the task until the timer rings; record the task status
*take a short break (5 minutes)
*every four "pomodoros" take a longer break (15-20 minutes)"

I didn't record my task status, else it would have been finish this (^*&^% book! ad nauseum, but I completed six pomodoros today. Oh, and if you think the 25 minute chunks are productive, just wait until you realize what you can squeeze into the 5 minute breaks.

C.J. Lyons has a great post on Focus Booster, specifically how it helps writers juggle projects and limit page-count-sucking social media. But remember, it's not just for writers. It's for anyone who wants to boost productivity.

Try it and let me know in the comments how it worked for you.


Jen FitzGerald said...

Sounds interesting, L.A., although to be honest, my daily To Do list generally gets accomplished unless I choose not to do it. ;)

Charles Gramlich said...

I might have tried something like this when I was younger, but at age 52 I've pretty much developed my own strategies and I don't think trying to change to something like this would work well for me.

laughingwolf said...

i'm with charles on this, lam...

right now, i'm copying my wip, in long hand, from my emac... so i can re-work it into my new writing software

i have it somewhere on a floppy, but no longer have a floppy reader on a computer... if i could find it, i'd have it printed out somewhere....

the walking man said...

I'd first have to reconnect to a sense of time. i doubt I want to do that.

Caryn said...

That's a good idea! I bet it makes t a little easier to focus on something difficult, boring or just plain not fun if you know you're going to be allowed a break in 25 minutes. Have you heard of the Fly Lady cleaning/decluttering method? It's a lot like this. I bet she based it on this principle.

L.A. Mitchell said...

@Jen-how driven you are. Bottle that, will you?

@Charles-that's half the battle, right? Figuring out what works for you.

@LaughingWolf-I've always wanted to write a piece in longhand. There's just something organic about it. Good luck :)

@WM-so true. Best not to reconnect with it if you can get away with limiting, really.

@Caryn-I've never heard of the FlyLady, but it makes perfect sense. Let me know if you try it.