We are now living in the hard-to-focus world. Everybody and everything wants our attention.

Therefore our attention span is getting shorter and shorter (9 seconds according to research at MIT). This is much shorter than 8 uninterrupted minutes for our brains to be creative.

As a result, we tend to forget our next actions (“WHAT was I doing?”). To avoid this, I used to use “Get back to Work” by MarkTAW.com. This is a fantastic web-based tool to keep you focused on your next actions.

What you can do with it is really simple. You just register “what to accomplish by when”. When finished, you evaluate your plan by clicking “completed”, “not completed”, or “did not do the work”. Each result is neatly counted on the screen so you know how good/bad you were so far.

Although this sounds too simple, the effect is enormous! Actually typing your next action is far more powerful than just thinking of it in your brain.

Task Pad

However, after several months using this tool, I’ve wanted to add a little hack, so i created “taskpad.jp”. This tool basically does the same thing except that it shows not only the counts of your result, but also the descriptive history of what you have achieved/not achieved. This way, you can visualize your achievements. by looking at it, you feel good (or bad) about your productivity, thus motivating yourself.

» Taskpad.jp

And yes, using a sheet of paper and a pen can do the same thing. But hey, are you not faster at typing than at writing?

Enjoy the productive day using this little tool.

Gen Taguchi is Japanese and a systems engineer/blogger who lives in Tokyo, Japan. You can read his lifehack ideas at Idea * Idea.

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