In the past week I read about three free apps that help people who want to stay focused on one project for an hour or two, and avoid checking email or Facebook or Twitter or their bank account or “breaking news” every few minutes.
I’ve been thinking about apps in general and the desire of many people to carry out more actions faster and better. Of the zillion apps out there how many address this need? In checking out the App Store, under the subject of “productivity” I found a few that could save seconds in a day and others that require extensive record-keeping. No thanks. Under “health and fitness,” I found one in which you could log daily walking time, pace and distance. The app converts your data into a bar graph and identifies your top walks. Useful? You be the judge. I count the minutes I exercise weekly. Once I’ve hit 150 I’m happy. No bar graph needed. Under “lifestyle” I found horoscopes, recipes and a way to keep track of goals in eight different categories. I have one goal: finish the third draft of my novel. By not purchasing that app, I save $19.99.
I limit my social media apps to email and Facebook. I subscribe to half a dozen blogs, but even those can distract.
A few years back, I had to close my Twitter account, partly because I couldn’t think of anything to say, but also because what other people were saying wasn’t that compelling. I reached my limit after someone talked me into installing Tweet Deck on my desktop computer. This app made a bird sound every time someone I was following posted a tweet. Since I followed large organizations with full-time tweeters, such as “The Huntington Post,” if I didn’t turn off the volume on my computer my study sounded like an aviary.
As I age I have to face that there is a limit to my time on earth and there are things I have yet to accomplish, and balance this with the wish to slow down, take my time and enjoy my surroundings, my friends, my life. I don’t think any app is going to help me here. It’s something I’ll have to figure out on my own.