Full Screen Focus

I visit 43Folders only about once a week now - I couldn't deal with the cognitive dissonance implied by procrastinating by visiting a site about how to be more efficient and avoid procrastination.

I was really glad yesterday to see Merlin's post about faking full screen mode with a trio of useful apps. I had tried Menushade before, and didn't really see the point - the menu bar doesn't bug me - but in combination with the other two that Merlin recommends, Spirited Away and BackDrop, his scheme is a really great way to turn your computer into a tool for focus and not diversion.

At first I thought I wanted a faster auto-hide than the default 60 seconds, but after a bit of time with the delay set to zero and then a less disconcerting 10 seconds, I decided that it was confusing to lose context that quickly, so the default's been working well for me. Also, it makes diversions painfully obvious when your work-related windows blink away and you're sitting staring at ESPN. It immediately begs the question: "You've already wasted one minute - is this that important?"

I was also reluctant to hide the dock, but I tried it, and now I'm never going back. I have SpamSieve and Growl to point out important emails (checking once an hour), and for the rest of the time, my numerous diversions are better off out of sight, out of mind.

Another tactic I've started using is a dedicated browser app for Gmail. Just because I need to look at my mail doesn't mean I need to spend some time checking hockey scores - so I built a separate browser that only loads Gmail, and that temptation is gone. I'll probably post more about that sometime later, but for now, I need to get back to work.


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