In praise of … Focus

Forget word counts; countdowns are my new motivator.

Word counts are good – especially when one is at the Draft 1 stage – but there are still times when one is gazing vacantly into space or looking for sartorial inspiration on Pinterest but still technically working and it’s profoundly irritating when this is not acknowledged as such by ones word count.

shutterstock_588214760 copyFocus Keeper Work & Study Timer is an iPhone app by Limepresso – but I daresay there is an excellent Android version if that’s your bag. The paid-for version costs less than the proverbial cup of coffee and does nothing much more than count down 25 minutes to a background of ticking clocks, café babble or soothing rainfall (or silence – which I fill with a carefully curated Spotify playlist). Focus then allows you 5 minutes ‘short break’ (amazing what you can do – and how much money you can spend – in 5 minutes) and then we’re back to the café babble. And so on for a couple of hours, when you are allowed a ‘long break’ of your chosen length.

It’s brilliant – once you have faffed around for a day or so optimising your work and break lengths, choosing your ticking clock (choice of five), and deciding on a colour scheme (the default is an angry red which does do at all).  It appeals to the nerd in me and the gives me enough of a dopamine hit to want to comply.

Right, time’s up. My phone has pinged (choice of bicycle bell, whistle, or chimes). Back to work.

 

About Hannah

Author, sometime midwife, timid mountaineer, fair weather gardener, off-road runner. Refining first novel (a Great War romantic thriller of suffragettes and soldiers) and writing the next. Passions include Africa, modern history, geopolitics, coffee, roses. And romance.
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