How to keep focused

By | September 28, 2010

Amber NaslundAmber Naslund is someone I really respect in our industry. She’s smart, savvy and fun to be around. Amber’s blog, Brass Tack Thinking, is one you should subscribe to. Together with the also awesome, Tamsen McMahon, they have created a kick ass resource for anyone interested in making things happen. Are you interested in making things happen?

Amber’s Four Secrets of the Super Productive post today is the perfect example of why she rocks. In it she shares four great methods to staying focused (I guess you could have gathered that from the title, eh?).

One method is to schedule meetings… with YOURSELF! What a great idea, why don’t we all do this? I think I can pencil me in for thirty minutes each day, how about you?

How I stay focused

Timer Utility

Amber asked for our tips too, so here’s mine. I use a free application (Mac) called Timer Utility. It’s a very simple countdown timer that sits where you place it on your screen.

When I make my To Do list each day, I schedule how long each task will take. For example, Twitter/Facebook from 9 am – 10 am. As I get started I start the countdown, so I can literally see my minutes rolling away.

Each time I click a silly link that I find on Twitter, dropping me into the rabbit hole of distraction, I gaze back to the clock.

My time is limited to get my tasks done, so that’s how I stay focused. It’s my little GTD tool.

How do you it?

Enjoy it? Please share it.

  • http://www.jeremymeyers.com/ Jeremy Meyers

    Lots of windows versions too… one that seems super simple is at http://www.orzeszek.org/blog/2009/08/21/simple-countdown-timer-for-windows/

  • http://www.davemadethat.com Dave Delaney

    Thanks Jeremy. I didn’t have the time to do some digging for a Windows friendly version.

    Cheers!

  • http://www.ricardobueno.com Ricardo Bueno

    Dave: I’m a mac. I haven’t used this (yet), but I DIG IT!

  • http://www.davemadethat.com Dave Delaney

    Thanks Richardo.
    Check back with me in a week or so. Please let me know how it works for you.
    Don’t worry if it doesn’t, I’m curious what does.

  • http://ajleon.me ajleon

    Thanks for the share, Dave. I’m gonna get this app … I need it. ;)

  • http://www.davemadethat.com Dave Delaney

    Let me know how it works for you AJ.

  • http://thinktrain.net Rob Robinson

    Dave, are you familiar with the Pomodoro Technique? It’s similar, although I little more structured, than what you are suggesting above. I’ve recently discovered it and have been testing it out to improve my focus at work. Check it out at http://pomodorotechnique.com. The full technique is available for free in a short e-book, though it’s simple enough that reading the book isn’t really necessary (though it does provide a deeper understanding of the philosophy).

    A timer based on the Pomodoro Technique is available for free at focusbooster.com in online and Adobe AIR versions.

    Rob

    P.S. Pomodoro means “tomato” in Italian.

  • http://www.davemadethat.com Dave Delaney

    I knew the word “pomodoro” sounded familiar to me, but only realized why
    when you mentioned it’s an Italian word. Now, I’m craving Italian food!
    I’ll check this out for sure.

    Thanks Rob!

  • http://thinktrain.net Rob Robinson

    You’re welcome, Dave. That is one danger for the pomodoro technique: It may make you hungry. ;)

  • http://www.davemadethat.com Dave Delaney

    LOL!
    Reminds me of the backpacking in Italy days. Ah, how I long to travel!

    Thanks.

  • Pingback: How to get things done | Dave Delaney - Community Enthusiast, Social Media Strategist, Marketing and Promotions Fella

  • http://www.ricardobueno.com Ricardo Bueno

    Psst… I need one for PC!

  • http://www.davemadethat.com Dave Delaney

    I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

    - Dave

    Dave Delaney
    Social Media Coordinator at Griffin Technology
    Greater Nashville Area

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