That was someone’s way to get work done and avoid all the distractions.
But … plugging the pull errr pulling the plug … no way! I can’t do that simply because i need to research a lot, browse documentation, ask questions in a forum, google …
But what has helped me in the week i’ve used it (this one), is:
Now the latter i did not know was possible or even reasonable to work with. On Windows you can have several Opera windows but when you close one of them all the tabs of that window are gone. You probably have to force yourself to use Opera’s menu: File -> Quit so that the next time all windows are opened again but for a Windows user that is a rather unusual way to close an application, right? On Mac it’s a bit more intuitive i think, as the (x) doesn’t close the whole app so it trained me not to use that button but instead rightclicking the App icon and selecting “Quit”.
Now, how do several Opera windows help me? Well, i tend to have lots of tabs open. And i mean: LOTS! Like at least 30, more towards 50 really. I don’t know how people can live – let alone work – with a browser with which you have to start all over after every restart/reboot. I can’t. Now that i’ve learned that Opera supports multiple windows each with its own Tabs, i simply organized my tabs into these windows:
- my blogs/websites, Twitter, Facebook, other forums (aka: potential time sinks but not needed for work, use before or after work or during long pauses)
- my tasklists (Acunote) and my documentation (Confluence Wiki)
- my scratchpad, mostly coding-related pages and temporary research results
- Gamasutra articles (i “collect” them … i just can’t close them if the article sounds interesting … sometimes months pass by without me reading any of them, still it’s nice to have them available when i got nothing else on my mind)
Now that i said that … where’s all the private and fun stuff?
I realize that i use only one gaming news site and everything else happens on my server. I connect to it via VNC and it also has Opera running with gaming related stuff, etc. … a lot of distractions are on there but due to the physical distance and the fact that it’s used by other people as well i just tend to browse them very infrequently (but not without annoying said other people while doing so).
I do watch funny videos, use Wikipedia for all kinds of things, or research movies on IMDB or check out the latest episode air dates, or look up sports on my computer. But i make a point in closing those sites once i’m done with them. That way they don’t lure me back in. And by splitting my Opera windows i also greatly reduce the chance of running into Facebook by accident and spending an hour on that.
Plus the Pomodoros really keep me in line. I have 25 minutes. I want to use that time. Unless someone is at the door or i have to go to the toilet i can easily resist distractions because it makes me more aware – the simple fact that i’m on a timer helps me stay focused!
Among all the time and/or task management techniques i’ve tried this is the one that works for me.