Distraction-attacking gadgets present a paradox. They often seek to simplify an experience, but their very use often means an extra step or factor one needs to consider. Thus, their developers must take care to ensure that they don’t make the problem worse.
That’s a challenged faced by TimeChi, essentially a high-tech timer that allows you to designate periods of deep work. Unlike the illuminated BusyBox, the TimeChi’s lights are just for you as well as would-be interrupters; its glowing light might help message the latter but feels like it could be distracting to the former. TimeChi’s touch-based activaiton also seems like something that would pull focus, but the Australian team says it contributes to a sense of satisfaction that encourages productivity.
TimeChi also has a companion app and website that tracks its usage and allows you to designate what you’ve been working on during its timing sessions as well as how effective you think you were doing them. In this, it describes itself as “a Fitbit for productivity” although, paradoxically, a Fitbit is a more unobtrusive item than the TimeChi. For those for whom a timer or app plus Google Sheets is not enough, TimeChi is available for about $113 through the run of its Indiegogo campaign.