12/12/12 21:40:30

Inside my Hyperactive Brain - iOS Version

When I wrote Inside my Hyperactive Brain, I got some comments from people with similar problems. It seemed to have struck a chord with them.

In the post, I forgot to explain how iOS helps getting something done. That’s what this post is for.

iOS is perfect for focused work. Single-tasking is my favorite iOS feature. It can’t do more than one thing, so I can’t do more than one thing.

As I wrote previously, reading is a big challenge. I want words to come in quicker, but that also means I need to take regular reading breaks, otherwise I’m not able to process all the information. There’s an app called QuickReader (also available as Lite version). It’s a Speed Reading app. A technique that, with some practice, allows one to read faster while keeping comprehension.

Instapaper has a share menu which allows to get an article directly into QuickReader. QuickReader puts visual guides on the screen for reading. The speed is customizable.

iOS is also the place where I start many articles. This one has been written entirely on an iPad. Writing on an iPad is awesome. One big screen that you can use to type stuff into. As Tim Cook says he writes most of his emails there and so do I. A lot of stuff I write has originated on the iPad. It’s become an indispensable tool when working with clients too. I have a questionnaire I go through with new clients to figure out what kind of screencast they want. I also have MindNode here. Most screencasts actually start on my iPad or iPhone.

Because not everything can be rainbows and unicorns, there are some downsides on iOS too. First of all Notifications are as poisonous to concentration as they are on the Mac. So I keep them off most of the time. Fortunately iOS 6 introduced Do Not Disturb. I like to think I’ve configured it atypically, since I have notifications off during the day. DND is on (notifications are off) between 11am and 5:30pm. My core business hours are from 10am to 6pm. You see that I allow notifications a slight overlap for notifications to get through while in the office. This makes for a nice transition from and to “work mode”.

When I’m at work, the iPad is where I consume media and where I communicate with the outer world. From 12am to 6pm, I don’t use my Mac’s email and reader app for media consumption. It’s a rule that I have set for myself. If you want to do this kind of stuff too, it helps to remind yourself why you’re doing it: to remain focused and concentrated. You might even setup something more advanced with Keyboard Maestro where "when this app is launched and if time is between x and y then quit app". This way the app won’t even launch. Again you’re doing this for your health, not to force some arbitrary rule on you.

I wish I could write more, but iOS is a clear device. No, or few, distractions. I’m using this thing mainly to communicate during the day and I consume media after. I’m glad I have it.

photo credit: University of Maryland Press Releases via photopin cc