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 Author Topic: Interruptron - GOE Challenge 2007 Entry  (Read 18779 times)
mouser
First Author

Posts: 34,424

 « on: December 05, 2007, 08:55:21 AM »

In the attention economy, what matters is your attention. Modern life is plagued with interruptions, some self-imposed (do you have a popup that lets you know when new mail arrives?), some not (phone ringing, people knocking on your door). The axiom is simple: your productivity is inversely proportional to the number of interruptions per hour. There exist psychological research that proves that doing two tasks -A,B- in an alternating sequence -ABABAB- is a lot harder than doing them on batches -AAABBB-. This is called task switch cost. Some research on economics proves that the same concept â€“switching tasks often is bad for productivity- is true organizations.

This is so simple itâ€™s staggering. We thought: well, we donâ€™t know how often we are interrupted, but we should! Thatâ€™s how the interruptron was born.

The modern knowledge worker has a very short average time between interruptions. Some estimates are as low as 10 minutes. We need to be aware of when we have been interrupted and try to stretch time between interruptions as much as possible. Also, itâ€™s important to be aware of when we are floating into â€˜unproductive timeâ€™ and have some method to nag us back to work. This is the goal of the interruptron. Run it always, and youâ€™ll have a good gasp of where your time goes.

One of the most interesting things you can do thanks to the interruptron is to have immediate visual information on how your time has been used. You can graph the current workday or any past day, and even have a look at the tasks you have accomplished, how much time you dedicated to them, and how much activity (keystrokes, words written) you produced while doing them. At any time, you can show a plot for the current day or any time interval.

ps. I'm posting this for urlwolf who is having trouble connecting to the forum -- mouser
 « Last Edit: December 05, 2007, 08:57:47 AM by mouser » Logged
justice
Supporting Member

Posts: 1,896

Solve issues simply.

 « Reply #1 on: December 06, 2007, 03:59:36 AM »

IS it available yet? I went to the website, entered my email address so I could be send the download link but on submitting the form I got a Error 404 not found on the thank you page.
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tomos
Charter Member

Posts: 9,059

 « Reply #2 on: December 06, 2007, 04:09:29 AM »

IS it available yet? I went to the website, entered my email address so I could be send the download link but on submitting the form I got a Error 404 not found on the thank you page.

click on "here" - ignore email thing

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Tom
tomos
Charter Member

Posts: 9,059

 « Reply #3 on: December 06, 2007, 04:11:51 AM »

I got the 404 too, but just noticed still got an email for a newsletter
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Tom
urlwolf
Charter Member

Posts: 1,790

 « Reply #4 on: December 06, 2007, 05:49:16 AM »

Yes. Sorry, I changed the location of the thank you page. The 404 you get was supposed to be a simple "Thanks":

Quote
Thank you for subscribing to workingcogs.com mailing list.

You will receive an email with a confirmation link (for mailing list general-workingcogs.com). Before we begin sending you the information you requested, we want to be certain we have your permission. This is why there is a confirmation link to click. The link points to listping.com, which is a third-party company that processes our mailing list requests. You will not join the mailing list until you approve it by following it.

Once you acknowledge of your intent of receiving information from workingcogs.com, you will receive a welcome e-mail and will become a subscriber. Every single e-mail you receive in the future will have an unsubscribe link at the bottom.

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We hope you enjoy your subscription.

Have a productive week,

It's fixed now. I'd like to have you on the mailing list, but of course I leave it up to you... there's a direct download link as tomos pointed out.

I locked myself out of this forum by playing with the settings in my firewall

Anyway, thanks to those who subscribed (and didn't get the thank you message ).

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urlwolf
Charter Member

Posts: 1,790

 « Reply #5 on: December 06, 2007, 09:39:15 AM »

Note: there are extensive docs, have a look. I'll post later a few tricks that I use to get the most out of it.

Edit: typo
 « Last Edit: December 06, 2007, 12:59:27 PM by urlwolf » Logged
urlwolf
Charter Member

Posts: 1,790

 « Reply #6 on: December 06, 2007, 01:02:06 PM »

One idea. Might me hard to implement (I have no clue what you can do with cell phones, if there's an API, etc).

It would be extremely cool if the interruptron chalked up one interruption every time your phone rings or you get an SMS!

I wonder if there's any web 2.0 service that provides an API for that. I.e., a function that sends a message (e.g. 1) when some cell number gets a call. I wouldn't be surprised.

That's an important source of interruptions for many people...

Do you know of any service like that?

Thanks
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rondesgr
Participant

Posts: 3

 « Reply #7 on: December 08, 2007, 11:44:16 AM »

Hello, I've installed your Interruptron program which has great potential.  Unfortunately, I can't get it to work at the moment.  In your documentation, the instructions don't match the example picture.  This makes it difficult to understand what is happening at what time.   So I'll ask you directly:  what is the function of the dropdown list box and the text box.  How should they best be used?

Next, I clicked on the 'start/pause' button several times while waiting 10+ minutes in both states ('X' and 'check symbol'), yet the three colored times don't change.  After a couple hours of playing with your program, the log file shows nothing as well.   How do I get the program to begin logging my activity?

Thanks,
Ron
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urlwolf
Charter Member

Posts: 1,790

 « Reply #8 on: December 08, 2007, 02:52:44 PM »

Hi Ron,

I see where the problem is.
You have an on/off button and a start/stop keyboard shortcut.
This can be confusing... I'm taking notice.

As you start the interruptron, define a shortcut that is confortable for you (the default is alt + ctrl + s; I like alt z) in options > shortcuts.

Pressing this will start/stop the work counter.

The button you see works like a power (on/off) button. If you want to go for lunch, that's not an interruptron in itself; you can turn off the interruptron (using the red/green button, or another shortcut you define). You can turn in on after you come back.

Does this make it clearer?

Where do you find the instructions ot matching the example picture? Do you still find it confusing (the docs, I mean) after this explanation?
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rondesgr
Participant

Posts: 3

 « Reply #9 on: December 08, 2007, 04:04:35 PM »

Hello urlwolf,

Thanks for clearing up that distinction between the button on the program and the keyboard control.  I now have your program counting down.

As for the documentation, on page 4 of your file "Interruptron help page.doc", it says:

"For example, in the example picture, I have done one full 45-min working interval, and I have 28 minutes to go till the end of the next one. I have had an interruption of 7:22 minutes, and I have not taken my rest (the counter next to the green clock is zero)."

None of the pictures match the text of that paragraph.

Ron
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marjorie
Supporting Member

Posts: 8

 « Reply #10 on: January 15, 2008, 06:03:58 PM »

Hi URLwolf,

I just installed your program, Interruptron, this afternoon.  I would like to know if it would take very long to make a way to browse for the programs that automatically stop the timer and chalk it up to an interruption?  I find it complicated to find the path to a program and would find it more user friendly to be able to browse and click.

In my work, I use the Internet, read the pages (often with a text-to-speech program), check references and write.  Your documentation says that the program assumes you're not working after a time you set has passed without activity on the mouse or keyboard.  I guess I will have to work out the time to set.  I guess that even when I am using text-to-speech, I am doing some mousing, so it will work out.  If I am looking up something in a reference book, will I be able to move the mouse periodically to let the program know I am working?

I am looking forward to using the program and watching my productivity.

Thanks,
Marjorie

PS:  The program I want to list in the automatic section is Free Cell.  I have not been able to find the path to it, but I can start it!
 « Last Edit: January 15, 2008, 06:11:39 PM by marjorie » Logged
jgpaiva
Global Moderator

Posts: 4,724

Artificial Idiocy

 « Reply #11 on: January 15, 2008, 06:20:52 PM »

Marjorie: freecell should be at: C:\Windows\system32\freecell.exe
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marjorie
Supporting Member

Posts: 8

 « Reply #12 on: January 15, 2008, 07:31:48 PM »

Thanks, that is where it is!
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urlwolf
Charter Member

Posts: 1,790

 « Reply #13 on: March 13, 2008, 08:30:32 AM »

So, there's at least one user of the interruptron interested enough to make a video of it:

He says that the interruptron made him 300% more productive (wow!).
This is nice to find.
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mouser
First Author

Posts: 34,424

 « Reply #14 on: March 13, 2008, 12:40:59 PM »

That is incredibly cool
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