Ok, I like to be lazy and put things off. In an effort to break this habit, I’ve implemented the (10+2)5 procrastination hack with a shareware application called Meridian. So what is this (10+2)5 math mumbo jumbo, you ask? The idea is simple: dedicate a fixed amount of 10 minutes for work and 2 minutes for play. Repeat 5 times. Merlin Mann of 43 Folders has a better overview and elaborates:
To implement this, I went on VersionTracker.com and downloaded a bunch of timer apps. Most were unsuitable, clunky, and unintuitive. Finally, I found Meridian. I like Meridian because it has multiple timers, didn’t take up a lot of screen real estate, and was fairly straightforward to set up. Plus, it looks quite handsome. Here’s how I set up Meridian for the (10+2)5 procrastination hack:
- 10 – Work for ten minutes with single-minded focus on moving toward completion on a single task. Ten minutes, and that’s all you’re allowed to do is work, work, work. No cheating, because (DING!) you actually get a break when you’re doneÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
- 2 – After ten minutes of sweaty, dedicated work you get a 2-minute break to do whatever you want—drink coffee, read 5ives, call your bookie, whatever. When the two minutes are up, it’s back to work on the next task on your list. This is important.
- 5 – You’re going to iterate this four more times for a total of one hour’s working/breaking
- Download Meridian and put in your Applications folder
- In the Preferences window, delete default timers, stopwatches and clocks The preferences window appears after you launch the application and hit “Continue” on the shareware notification window if you haven’t bought it. Meridian is loaded with an example clock, timer, and stopwatch each. I like to start with a clean slate, so delete I deleted them all before setting up my custom timers. To delete:
- Click on the “Clocks” icon
- Select the clock item in the list
- Click on the little substract symbol on the lower left corner of the window
- Repeat the above for “Timers” and “Stopwatches”
- Create a “Work” timer
- Click on the “Timers” icon in the main navigation.
- Click the little plus symbol on the lower left corner of the window. A new timer will appear in the list.
- For “Title”, enter “Work”
- For “Window Level”, choose “Floating”
- For “Starting Time”, set it to “0:10:00”
- Create a “Play” timer Repeat the same steps as above, except for “Title”, enter “Play”. For “Starting Time”, set it to “0:02:00”
- Restore your Date & Time System Preferences
Meridian replaces Mac OS X’s Date & Time in the menubar with their own version. If you don’t like this, you can turn it off.
- Click on the “Menu Bar” icon in the main naviation of the Meridian preferences window
- Uncheck “Show the Meridian Menu”
- Now go to your Mac’s System Preferences, choose “Date & Time” and make sure “Show the date and time” is checked.
To begin, just hit the start button on the “Work” timer. When you run out of work time, you’ll get an alert. After this, hit the start button on the “Play” timer. Repeat 5 times for a full cycle of the (10+2)*5 procrastination hack.
Since this is a Mac setup, can anyone suggest a good setup for our Windows readers?