Beatdown Distraction

Feb 28 2010

TinyAlarm Screenshot

Screenshot of TinyAlarm

We’ve all been there: it’s late in the evening, you meant to be working on your current Big Project, and you suddenly realize you’ve spent the past two hours flipping through unrelated Wikipedia pages. Not because you were bored; you just got distracted.

This happens to me when I’ve been racing around for most of the evening–cooking, recording videos, checking emails. I haven’t rested, so eventually my mind forces rest by distracting me with inanity.

So I’ve been using an app called TinyAlarm on my Mac. I set it for 30 minutes, after which it chirps, telling me to stop whatever I’m doing and rest for a bit.

Of course, “rest” can mean a lot of things; reading, making a drink, putting a book away, etc. It can be anything different from what I was doing.

It’s also a great opportunity to take a step back and look at what I’m doing. I often realize that I’ve become distracted within the work I was doing, concentrating on a less-important aspect of the job. These 30-minute breaks help me to refocus on what’s most important.

How do you refocus?

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