I like to do my work in small timed chunks. I follow the Pomodoro method, the idea is that you spend 25 minutes focused work on whatever that you want to work on and then take a break for 5-10 minutes then go for another 25-30 minute chunk. Working this way helps me get more done. In this hyperactive, hyperconnected, tab-switching, window-swapping, instant-notification popping work environment; constant distraction is a way of life. By concentrating on a single task and spending fixed amount of short time on it is an effective way to not get easily distracted. Of course, this won’t magically work if you have a toxic work environment with easy distractions.
There are tons of Pomodoro apps out there, most of them are free and some of them are even web-based, I have tried quite a few of them but the one that worked well for me is a simple CLI app, called Termdown. I don’t know if the author of this very useful but simple app made this with Pomodoro in mind, but that’s how I use it. Since I am trying to be ruthlessly minimalistic in every aspect in my life, a CLI app for my Pomodoro needs seems like a perfect choice for my minimalistic goal.
Termdown comes with several options to fiddle with timer and stopwatch option, you can get a whole list of options available through
Usage: termdown [OPTIONS] [TIMESPEC] Starts a countdown to or from TIMESPEC. Example values for TIMESPEC: 10, '1h 5m 30s', '12:00', '2020-01-01', '2020-01-01 14:00 UTC'. If TIMESPEC is not given, termdown will operate in stopwatch mode and count forward. Hotkeys: L Lap (stopwatch mode only) R Reset SPACE Pause (will delay absolute TIMESPEC) Q Quit Options: -a, --alt-format Use colon-separated time format -b, --blink Flash terminal at end of countdown -c, --critical N Draw final N seconds in red (defaults to 3) -f, --font FONT Choose from http://www.figlet.org/examples.html -q, --quit-after N Quit N seconds after countdown (use with -b or -t) or terminate stopwatch after N seconds -s, --no-seconds Don't show seconds until last minute -t, --text TEXT Text to display at end of countdown -T, --title TEXT Text to display on top of countdown/stopwatch -W, --no-window-title Don't update terminal title with remaining/elapsed time -v, --voice VOICE Spoken countdown (starting at 10; requires `espeak` on Linux or `say` on macOS; choose VOICE from `say -v '?'` or `espeak --voices`) -o, --outfile PATH File to write current remaining/elapsed time to --no-figlet Don't use ASCII art for display --no-text-magic Don't try to replace non-ASCII characters (use with -t) --version Show version and exit --help Show this message and exit
I find myself sticking to these Termdown options for my timer/Pomodoro needs.
termdown --no-figlet 10s -b, which gives me a simple centered timer (with no fancy ASCII art) and a red blink when the timer runs out. Here is how it works:
Of course, you can use it for your non-Pomodoro timer needs too.