Is multi-tasking making you feel like you are the star in a pinball game that just won’t end? Well usually I can handle it, but these last few weeks, I felt the need to find something to help me focus. So the winner in my Google search for sanity was the 30/30 app for iOS.
30/30 is based loosely on the Pomodoro Technique, where you are rewarded for a period of uninterrupted work with a break. As the app title suggests, you complete 30 minutes of concentrated work, then you move to a 30 minute break or 30 minutes of something else. However, this app is very flexible in that it allows you to set your task times to anything you want such as: “write blog-30 minutes”, “check email-5 minutes”, “finish writing blog-30 minutes”.
The flexibility does not end there. 30/30 is very easy to learn and the settings are simple to change:
- Need to add or subtract 5 minutes? Just click the button on either side of the timer.
- Talked to your boss and need to quickly add a new task? Spread your fingers on the screen (like you are zooming in) and a task window opens up.
- Need to delete a task? Simply swipe right on a task, and it disappears.
- Want to move a task to the bottom? Swipe left.
- Need a lists for home and work? Create multiple lists for all of your needs.
This video does a nice job of describing how 30/30 works.
I have used this app for a couple weeks now and feel that I really accomplished more work because of it. The best part of 30/30 for me is that it tells me exactly where I left off when I get interrupted; a question that usually eludes me multiple times a day. For example, someone stopped by to see me while I was writing this blog, and I was able to pause the current 30/30 task timer before I stepped away. When I returned to my office, the usual question, “What the heck was I doing anyway!?” was easily answered by glancing at the 30/30 app on the iPad. The last task was there waiting for me with a timer already to go. I was able to just hit “play” on the task and return to writing. Simply awesome!
If you forget to push the pause button (been there!), your tasks that have passed will still be there at the bottom of the list in the order you put them. You can just drag them to the top and start them again.
For people who have difficulty focusing, such as person with Attention Deficit Disorder, I would suggest trying this free app with homework or on the job. It just might help you get one task closer to doing something fun!
UPDATE 3-14-14: I contacted the company, and they stated that an Android version of 30/30 will be coming out this summer.