Recently a friend introduced me to focus booster. It has changed the way I work. It helps me to eliminate distractions and get a lot more done in much less time, and it gives me more breaks!
Typically, when you review your task list you’ll pick an item on the list that “feels” like it’s ready to be taken care of. You then might set about actually doing that task. Normally you won’t have much of a deadline to work to, or if you do it’s not a short term deadline. This means that its importance doesn’t seem as high. Then there’s the constant barrage of distractions to handle. There’s the problem of your email client constantly reminding you of the hundreds of unread emails in your inbox. Your colleague pings you over instant messenger and asks you a question. Then you remember that you wanted to follow up something you noticed on the news in the morning. Before you know it half an hour has passed and you’re no closer to being able to tick the task off as having been done.
Distractions, not money, is the root of all evil. If we could all stay focused on what we want to get done the world would be a better place.
Short of the planets aligning, there is very little chance you can work through all those distractions and get your task done. At least that’s true for me. Well, it was true.
Enter Focus Booster
Focus booster is a small free application that is basically just a timer. After you’ve picked the task you want to attack, you start the timer. By default it’s set at 25 minutes. That’s it. You have 25 minutes to get as much done as you can before the buzzer goes off. It kind of turns productivity into a game as you constantly challenge how much you can get done in that 25 minute window.
You’ll want to give yourself the best possible chance to get your task done. So, turn off your email client (as long as your task isn’t something like “clear inbox” or “respond to emails”), set your instant message clients to Do Not Disturb and remove any other tempting distractions. In the event you remember that you wanted to follow up something you noticed on the news, when you remember it, quickly write it down on paper or in something like Evernote and put it aside, out of your mind. You can deal with that later.
You have to beat the clock!
When you give yourself so much focus and dedication to a single task you’ll astound yourself at how much quicker you get it done and the quality of the end result will be that much better.
When the buzzer does go off after 25 minutes it’s time to take a break. The timer will automatically restart itself from 5 minutes. This is your opportunity to get up, walk around, talk to whomever you need to, grab a coffee and get ready for the next focus booster session. After the 5 minute break the timer gets ready for the next session and waits for you to hit “start”. If you didn’t end up getting the last task finished, now’s your chance to complete it. Though, you might want to start making your tasks smaller, break them down further. The subtle satisfaction you get from ticking something off will help to motivate you to take on the next task. If you did manage to get your last task done, great! Now simply pick a new task and repeat.
I’m loving focus booster. When I hit the “start” button I go into “the zone”. Now and then I’ll glance up at the timer (which will stay on top of other windows) and start working even faster.
Now, by gaming my task list with focus booster, I can get more done in less time. I recommend you give it a try and see how often you can beat the clock! Once you’ve tried it, let me and everyone else know how much it improved your productivity levels and if you managed to eliminate distractions.
Get focus booster from focusboosterapp.com.