I’ve a logo to complete, another revision to do on a client’s homepage, a sign job needs to be followed up on, a proposal to write up, a blog post to kick out that I’m behind on (again), grocery shopping to do (as I write this, the teenage son is gazing longingly into the abyss, a.k.a. the refrigerator. As you read this, he probably still is), a to-do list to do? and, lemme see …

Aaaah! I gotta go pick my daughter up from school!


*sigh* Back now. Not too late.

Do you feel like you’re just putting out fires? Lately, I do. I’m overwhelmed.

At times like this I get the I’m-on-autopilot, glazed eyes that sends me retrieving an empty email inbox yet again and defaulting to … Facebook, ugh. And I ask myself, “What are you doing?”

My world feels like…

I need a tool or strategy to help me maintain focus and kick up the productivity a notch or two. So, I started diligently searching for productivity tools.

I bet you’ve heard it said that, “The simplest solution is the best solution.”

But a kitchen timer?

Kitchen timer


Hmm, there’s gotta be something like that online. But most of them, like under Google gadgets, are silent stopwatches. Or they do like 50+ functions. Or they measure time to the ten-thousandths of a second. C’mon, I’m not timing an Olympic 100m race. I just need seconds as consistent reminders – gently pulling me back: tick … tick … tick … tick … stay … tick … on … tick … task … tick….

After a deeper search, and trying out a few, I found one that meets my needs. It’s called Focus Booster.

Focus Booster

It’s customizable, intuitive, simple in its application and, because of this, effective. I don’t even need to look at the time. My peripheral vision picks up the time slipping by since the interface changes color from green, at the start, to orange to red at the completion of the allotted time.

I set it for 30 minutes (BTW, this post took two of those) with a 10 minute break (that urges me to get out of the chair) to warm up my coffee, pet the dog, look out the window, or just take some time to practically break my arm trying to pat myself on the back because I’m getting so much more checked off the unruly to-do list.


To-do list? Where did I put that list anyway?


Do you have any tools that help to increase your productivity?