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January 4, 2008 / Bob Black

Ten Plus Two

Every so often, especially if you work in IT, rather than a fancy-schamncy development shop or somesuch, you’ll be tasked to do something mind-numbingly boring, like editing a 10 year old Word macro. Or writing CRUD code by hand. Or writing (the horror!) documentation.

In which case it can become a little difficult to stay focused. For a little help in that area, try out this Yahoo widget: Ten Plus Two (you’ll of course need the Yahoo widget engine installed).

Ten Plus Two is basically a timer than counts down for 10 minutes (or more, or less, if 10 minutes isn’t your cup of tea) of work, and then counts down for 2 minutes of rest before repeating the process. Work for 10 minutes, breathe for 2 minutes. Your two minutes can be a trip to the bathroom, a quick blog post, or just staring off into space while your eyes rest. Each change is accompanied by a nice little audio cue as well as color indicators – the background turns red when you’re supposed to be working, and green when you can take a break.

Granted, this could possibly get aggravating after a while, but it works wonders for keeping me on track while slogging through monotonous work items when I would much rather be browsing TechMeme or reading the latest from Coding Horror.

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