I’ve been doing quite a lot of Facebook development in the last few months. At first I was using my own account to do most of the testings for the apps I was working on. I always have (at least) two versions of the app – production and development. The development version is marked as sandboxed, so any action I do in it (including posting to the newsfeed) isn’t shown to my friends.
At first I felt that this is enough, and didn’t feel the need for a test account. But after some time I realized that while developing, anytime I get to my profile or newsfeed, I get distracted by my friends’ posts. So I started using another account to do the testings. This way, whenever I get to the profile or newsfeed I practically see nothing there that can distract me from what I’m working on.
Another benefit of using a test account is that whenever you test something on the production (un-sandboxed) version of your app and need publish a lot to your newsfeed, you don’t spam your friends (or reveal upcoming features).
Of course, we can rely on our self discipline to avoid this distractions, but who are we kidding?
Lior Levin asked me today if it’s possible to create a Firefox extension, that will block Facebook part of the time. As a result, I created a Firefox extension (a compiled Greasemonkey) that blocks Facebook for 45 minutes each hour (form :16 to :59), i.e. blocking Facebook for 75% of your time.
This is a very rough alpha version. It will work, but it has a lot more to do with.
Will be glad to hear if you’re using it, and what you think of it.
Download extension | Download Greasemonkey Userscript
Today a friend of mine mentioned that you can find on David Allen’s web site a GTD utilty called “Two Minutes Timer”. As it name states it’s a two minutes timer, that will make a sound when the time ends and flashes “What is your next action?”. If you aren’t famililar with the GTD methodology – the 2 minute timer is intended to facilitate the 2 minute rule, which states that:
“If the Next Action can be done in 2 minutes or less, do it when you first pick the item up. Even if that item is not a “high priority”, because it takes longer to store and track any item than to deal with it the first time its in your head.”(p. 131, “Getting Things Done”)
While the GTD methology is a great thing, paying 10$ for a utility that I can write in half an hour seemed to be as too much. Making a quick google search for gtd + “two minutes timer” reveled to me that I wasn’t the only one who thought like that. 20 minutes later I’ve compiled a list replacement timers for PC, Mac, Google Widgets, Yahoo Widgets and more…