Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Distracted at work? There's an app for that

It's called "Quiet Hours."  Here's the explanation courtesy of the Chronicle of Higher Ed along with a video illustration below:

[To prevent multitasking distractions at work, here's a] strategy . . . offered by Adam Pash’s Quiet Hours, an Adobe Air-based utility (Windows/OS X) that helps you work with focus, while knowing that you won’t miss anything. The way it works is simple: Take any app that’s a distraction, and drag it to the Quiet Hours app. (Windows users can drag them from the Start menu; Mac users should drag from the Applications folder.) Set the app’s timer for however long you want to work without interruption. When that time has elapsed, Quiet Hours will re-launch those applications. A couple of things worth noting: You have to quit the distracting apps (e.g., Twitter, IRC, e-mail . . . or some scholarly application) yourself. And nothing about Quiet Hours prevents you from re-opening them in the interval. What the utility offers you is two things: 1) an instantly-configurable reward for getting your stuff done, and 2) the sure knowledge that you will in fact check back in for critical messages at some point. That might seem silly, but there’s an advantage to a visual reminder–in this case, the opening application–to check your e-mail one last time before leaving for the day. The basic idea is that you can concentrate on your work *now*, because the app promises to check on your distractions (professional and non-) later.


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