For many of us home office means being online at all times. Do you already take your smartphone to the restroom with you? The ability to concentrate and focus decreases demonstrably if media consumption is not limited and availability is not controlled.
There are methods, which you can – and should – use during this time of permanent virtual availability.
HOW IT’S DONE
There are timer apps like Time Timerthat you can download to your tablet or smartphone. These apps don’t show you the actual time, but instead the passing time (e.g. similar to a pie chart). You can set a time frame for a task and the app will visibly shrink the pie chart. When the pie is gone, the time you have planned for the task has run out. Visualizations help the brain to understand that the time is running out, which allows you to be more considerate with your time than when just looking at the clock.
On the one hand, it is a good way to control how much time you want to spend on certain topics. This is especially helpful in a virtual context as this offers countless possibilities for distraction and thus for wasting time.
On the other hand, it helps you to plan and maintain availability and thus to save your resources. Use the Time Timerto block a certain amount of time for undisturbed work, as if the door in the office was closed with the „please do not disturb“ sign hanging on the door knob.
The acoustic signals of your timer can remind you when these working hours start and end. The same applies to your total media time. Your brain and especially your sensory organs need breaks from the constant flood of stimuli and impulses from visual and auditory media.
The timer can be a helpful tool – but: if there are days when you do not feel like timing yourself, then don’t. After such days, it’s helpful to look back and find out about the differences on that day compared to the time timer days..