Unwanted distractions do not only decrease your productivity, but they also cause stress. In general, distractions can be a real pleasure, but only if “applied” and timed correctly. Let’s say if you take 5 minute breaks every 30 minutes or so during work, this can be really refreshing as I mentioned in a previous article, About Mindful Mynah And Time Out(s). However, if you are constantly disrupted by your news feed reader, emails, twitter messages or other open windows on your desktop, this can really depletive.
Right now, it is Christmas Holiday time, and I have no intend to work and desire to focus on productivity. However, I just noticed how distracted I am when I try to read a longer text or article on my computer. I can barely read 5 minutes at a time without opening unread emails from my inbox, skim over my twitter page, or browse over the headlines in my news reader.
Fortunately, I just stumbled upon a nice app called “Quiet” (http://wireload.net/products/quiet/). The principal behind “Quiet” is very simple: It just fades out everything you don’t need, everything you don’t want at the moment. Let’s say you are reading an article in your browser: Quiet can fade out everything that might be a potential distraction: email sounds, dock bar, task bar, desktop icons, and other open windows (focus on application). However, if your current task requires multiple windows opened next to each other at a time, Quiet also has an option to blend everything out BUT the active windows (focus on space).
The Real Power Of Quiet
Quiet becomes especially handy if you are setting up keyboard shortcuts. E.g., I have set the keyboard shortcut for entering the focus modes on <option>+<space> (focus on application) and <control>+<space> (focus on space). So if I open up a longer email, I simply press the referring keys on my keyboard to focus on the open email only so I can read and digest it without bothering about the other items looming around in my inbox.
Furthermore, you can decide whether you want to see you Desktop wallpaper, a black background, or an unsharp mask when entering the focus mode: the choice is yours!
Developer Website: http://wireload.net/products/quiet/