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Focus.

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* $5 Walgreens kitchen timer.
* set countdown for 8 minutes
* when it goes off, look at what you're doing
* is this what you're supposed to be doing? (a/k/a "Work")
* if you're off-task, refocus
* repeat, repeat

Agent Angelo, Paul Mayne, nibaq, and 7 other people added this photo to their favorites.

  1. Lalitree 115 months ago

    Oh man. That would yield some embarrassing results for me, I'm afraid. Focussing seems to be a skill I've lost completely.

  2. monstro 115 months ago

    jesus christ, man, i love ya, but i thought we were done with fordism. if i hit 8 minutes and i'm not doing what i was supposed to be doing, then clearly that's not what i'm really supposed to be doing.

    what i'm really supposed to be doing is going to the bar. to the bar!

  3. Kathryn Yu 115 months ago

    why 8 minutes and not 5, 10, or 15?

  4. merlinmann 115 months ago

    Good question, K. Two things.

    First, thanks to NPR and my inveterate clock watching, I'm way too tuned to ten and fifteen minute cycles. I have an uncanny awareness of what time it is most of the time--even as it slips away from me as I surf, read, or what have you. I needed a disruptive number that wouldn't let me just go, "Oh, I'll get back to work after the news update."

    Second, I arbitrarily decided that eight minutes represented the nexus of the amount of annoyance I can tolerate and the amount of time I'm willing to have wasted without a reminder.

    I think different people should try different times: 5 and 20 minute intervals both make sense depending on the work you do (and how quickly you find yourself getting derailed).

  5. kfan 115 months ago

    man you are hardcore. i could not share a cubicle with you. you'd be all frowning as i posted to flickr for 8 minutes.

  6. jkottke 115 months ago

    How many "i"s are there in "intervention"?

  7. merlinmann 115 months ago

    All of them.

  8. Brian Sawyer 115 months ago

    All right, M. Your eight minutes are up. Back to work. ;-)

  9. merlinmann 115 months ago

    You're a harsh taskmaster, Brian.

    :)

  10. lisarzuniga 115 months ago

    Whoa.. this is totally something I would do lol.. Good job. Keep up the task-management!

    *beep* Ahh, eight minutes... I'm off to class ;-)

  11. Mike Monteiro 115 months ago

    Merlin, i want to make love to you SO bad. We can totally get it in that 8 minute window too.

  12. merlinmann 115 months ago

    Totally, Mike.

    Even gives us seven minutes to cuddle.

  13. aesop 115 months ago

    What if I'm more than 8 minutes running/zombie shuffle/panicked hurtling away from what I'm supposed to be doing?

    And what if you upped the ante with, y'know, a stinkbomb or something? You could sprint to the rescue just in time to defuse the calamity with only 007 seconds to go. Then, dust off the palms of your hands, resume your accustomed dapper countenance and continue saving the world.

    All in a day's work.

  14. macfixer 114 months ago

    PLEASE tell me that alarm isn't that loud! If I were your cubicle mate, you'd find your timer missing say, the first day after lunch!

    :)

    //k

  15. TheBrad 111 months ago

    Back off, Mike. He's mine.

    (OK, split the diff...4 minutes apiece?)

  16. rorymcmahon 64 months ago

    I kept hitting the snooze button. :(

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