Tutorial Windows: Let Windows Help You Focus Better

Even if the computer is a highly-efficient tool for nearly any kind of task, it doesn’t have full control over your focus or interest. Trying to complete a task on a computer with an active Internet connection might just take a little longer than it should.

This is because all of your favorite songs, TV shows, movies, and games are only a few mouse clicks away, and let’s be honest, they’re far more entertaining than work in general. What’s more, motivation is not always around when you need it, especially when tasks depend on time.

On the other hand, you trick your laziness with just a couple of tools. One of them can be used to literally make distracting elements invisible, while the other puts you under time pressure, with feedback reports and task rating options.

Creating a list of things to do

Step 1: Download, install, and run XorTime.

Step 2: Press the Settings button that’s next to the question mark.

Step 3 (optional): Make text clearer by changing the font and its size.

Step 4: Set the timer and break time, as well as whether or not to receive audio alerts.

Step 5: Close the Settings window and simply write down task details to get started. Additionally, you might want to add numbers for easy identification.

Step 6: Right-click a task and specify Task Properties to add color differentiation.

Step 7: Use the last set of buttons to rate each task. This also determines your overall performance.

Step 8: Hit the Start Timer button to put a task in motion and have it tracked.

Creating a focused workspace

Step 1: Download, install, and run CinemaDrape.

Note: It’s normal for your screen to turn completely black, so don’t worry.

Step 2: Press and hold the left mouse button to see through the black screen cover.

Step 3-a: Drag a box around the window or screen area you want to make visible.

Step 3-b: Right-click a black area and Area or Window Under Cursor so that the application automatically creates a fixed-sized frame.

Step 4: Move the box by grabbing its upper middle edge. Resize it by dragging its borders.

Step 5 (optional): Right-click the black area to set opacity level and color.

Step 6: Save the layout by accessing the context menu and pressing Save Layout.

Note: You can create several different layouts for multiple types of tasks, and simply load them when needed. There’s also a hotkey command to toggle dim areas on and off.

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