Multitasking killer hacks

(Ver versión en español)

I noticed that as time goes by, it gets more difficult for me to focus and concentrate sometime with only one task. I may be interrupted by a notification from my telephone, a new idea of something to do (and someone to call or something to note), an update from a software I was about to use… There are several ways to interrupt whatever I was doing some minutes earlier. And I am not only talking about work, I also talk about other moments like cleaning at home, doing some fitness or just looking for meditation time. Every moment has potential to be interrupted. ( There’s a great book from Nicholas Carr that explains how Internet is guilty for these sympthoms. Of course I couldn’t finish reading it yet…)

But it isn’t about hated multitasking that I want to speak of, but about my fight with it. I am a distracted person in general, it’s true. But I see these symptoms in a lot of people that surrounds me, even if they are the most organized people in the world.

If you ever felt your head about to crush beyond all these distractions, I have some productivity hacks that helped me in the fight against multitasking:

  • Forest (mobile app — Android/Apple friendly): when silence profile wasn’t enough to focus, I got Forest app. You get a clock with a tree inside. With the clock you set how much time you would like to focus, and plant a tree. During that time, the screen just shows the little tree growing with messages like “Don’t’ stare at me!”. If you interrupt the growing tree process, it will die and break your heart. For real.
  • Detox for Facebook (browser extension): I found it in Product Hunt (every app fan should follow it). It adds a button that replaces your Facebook feed with work news. You can set the kind of news you would like to see and at what time you would like to shut down your friend’s feed. If you are taken by temptation… you will end reading something about work. In some days you’ll find it irrelevant to check Facebook during work hours. It’s very easy to enable or disable it, and to set your preferences. Something important: Facebook chat works the same. But you will notice that what distracts us from Facebook is its feed, not the chat. Just try it!
  • The great suspender: A friend recommended me Tab Suspender when he found me working (or fighting) with 20 Chrome tabs at the same time. Its objective is to help Chrome to save resources, and it makes it possible. It’s great just for that. But I found that it’s collateral effect is that I get all the tabs that minutes ago were disctracting me, suspended. So I get to focus in the same tab for a while. Tab suspender is basic and not very customizable, but effective. The great suspender is very cute, easy to use and easy to customize. It changes your life.

I found The Great suspender and some other useful extensions in this post, from another Chrome extension fan.

I hope this app combo is useful for someone, and if you have another productivity hack that’s helping, share it! We will win the fight against multitasking!