Launching into focus mode

May 21st, 2020

Focus is one of my dearest tools. It helps me cut out distractions, by blocking those websites I shouldn’t browse when I need to focus. It may sound somewhat excessive but this little assistant helps me be very conscious about what I do through the day.

There are two main features which helps me in my workflow:

1. Timed sessions

The best part of Focus is that you can set it to run as a timer. This makes it very much like a Pomodoro timer, and breaks down time into smaller individual chunks so that a task doesn’t seem overwhelming.

When I find it hard to get started with something, I tell myself I only need to sit down with it for 5 minutes. So I start a timer for 5 minutes, but when the time is up I’ve almost always found the flow to continue going.

Focus Pomodoro Timer

2. Scripting

Focus is also scriptable, which makes it simple to automate this workflow. I have a macro set up through Keyboard Maestro so when I press Caps Lock + D it asks me how long I need to focus and then automatically kicks off that focused session.

Focus Pomodoro Timer

Summary

The more I use this tool, the better it gets. It’s a small utility, and it just sits in the menu bar so it’s easy to overlook the impact this tool can have. I can’t count how many times throughout a single day I want a break from something, and unconsciously I head over to one of my favorite sites for mindless scrolling. But Focus is there as a guiding light, telling me that this isn’t appropriate right now and that I should get back to work.