While having dinner with some friends, one mentioned how he has blocked distracting sites like social networks, entertainment, etc. on his systems while he works. I thought lightly of it, until I sat down and realized how much time I spent perusing these sites when I should be getting work done.
As a test, what I started doing was using multiple desktops for specific tasks, and only using certain browsers for stuff (like Firefox for development and Chrome for browsing). I close all misc apps like twitter, rss readers, or chat, so I won’t be tempted to check out what’s going on on Engadget. Using my mac and full screen apps also helps greatly, as I have my code editor fullscreen and browser full screen so I can only focus on code, test, code, test, etc. Doing all the above, I definitely noticed a big difference in focus and throughput.
I think it may be time to try out one of these pomodoro technique apps that I have installed, to play around with break up tasks and fun breaks to see if it helps mentally. I currently have Concentrate and Vitamin-R installed, which from initial glance appear to have different viewpoints on how to lock down your workflow. I’ll report back in a few weeks to see how playing with each goes, as I’m sure there’s something I should be doing now instead of blogging.