Focus booster, an effective, no-frills productivity app for your PC or laptop
By Geri L. Dreiling, Esq.
Lawyers spend a lot of time writing. There are mediation briefs, appellate briefs, and summary judgment memorandums. There are pleadings to draft, articles to create and blog posts to publish.
The will to write exists. The challenge is blocking out the focused, uninterrupted time needed to get it done. For the past few weeks, I have been using focus booster, a free app for my computer, to help me complete writing tasks and meaty projects that require undivided attention.
Focus booster is a simple tool based on the Pomodoro Technique. Developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s, this time management technique divides time into work intervals of 25 minutes. Cirillo referred to those 25-minute intervals as pomodoros (“tomatoes” in Italian.) At the end of each interval is a 5-minute break.
As focus booster explains on its site, there are a few straightforward steps involved:
- Decide on the task
- Start the timer
- Work on the task until the timer rings
- Record the task status or tasks completed
- Take a 5-minute break
- Every 4 pomodoros, extend the break to 15 or 20 minutes
Cirillo used a mechanical timer. Focus Booster is a digital, preset version that includes both the 25-minute work interval and the 5-minute break. You simply hit focus booster’s play button and the 25-minute timer begins. At the end, an alarm will sound and the 5-minute break begins.
Downloadable Productivity App or Live Version
There are two ways to use focus booster, either download the computer app or use the live version on the Internet. I prefer to open a tab in Chrome and use it live.
It is straightforward and effective.
My goal is to complete at least seven pomodoros each day. At a total of 3.5 hours it may not sound like much but, in reality, carving out seven chunks of uninterrupted time lasting 25 minutes is no small feat. No emails, no phone calls, no meetings, no Web surfing, no tweeting, no LinkedIn status updates — just writing and handling meaty project work.
To achieve my goal, I typically start my Focus Booster count at 6:30 in the morning so that I can get four done before the distractions of the workday hit in full force. For others, it might be the peak concentration time begins after 5 pm.
Have you tried the technique or the Focus Booster app? Has it been effective?