Three tools that give you laser focus when working from home
With no people around to keep myself accountable, it is very easy to slip into doing unimportant work.
I have been working on my own for the better part of my 20+ development career and these are the tools that I found keep me focused.
Brain.fm (for focus)
This is the closest thing I have come to magic. You simply press a button with the desired mental state you want to be in and they have music that puts you in that state. Instantly!
I have used it every week for over three years now.
In the morning, I use the “Deep Work” mode to get the important things done. In afternoon I either do “Light work” or get into a “Creative flow”. Which the app conveniently has a button for me to push.
FocusMate.com (for accountability)
Pre-pandemic, I went to a particular library in Stockholm where laser focused students went to study. Being in that environment gave me just enough of positive peer pressure to keep me from wandering into doing something else.
FocusMate uses the same underlying concept: peer pressure used for good.
You simply say when you want to have some accountability and then they connect you with someone else randomly. Then you both say what you are going to do and meet up after 45 minutes to say how it went.
It is really interesting how bad I feel telling a random person on the internet that I took on to big of a task.
I use it primarily to stop procrastinating on tasks that I find boring. Like filing receipts to my accountant.
ShortBreakFromWork.com (for wellbeing)
I waited 8 years for someone to build a service that tells me what to do on my break.
No one did, so I had to do it myself.
It works much in the same way that Brain.fm does. It gives me simple buttons to push based on “what do you want to do now”.
Taking regular breaks during the day lets me focus for longer periods of time. On the right things!
I take one or two every hour during the day.