According to a study by Microsoft, the average human attention span is now eight seconds, a sharp decrease from the average attention span of 12 seconds in the year 2000. Overfed with instant gratification, human beings find it hard to focus on all sorts of tasks, from the menial ones like eating lunch, doing the dishes, down to complex ones like delivering a project or a baby.
I have often found myself faced with having to deliver thousands of lines of code with no motivation at all, thus procrastinating until the very last minute before the deadline. I have been researching ways to prevent this from happening, and thus reached the cause.
Temporita is the solution I came up with, after having tried physical agendas of all sorts, bullet journaling, Pomodoro techniques and almost all todo lists on the market - the only one I have not tried is the electrical shock bracelet, but I did find such a solution available.
What it does
Temporita serves in the planning and delivery process, by bringing back the focus on the important part in any task: the goal. One has the possibility to plan ahead on specific time slots what he or she has to deliver, and how to proceed in case some reason prevents the task from being delivered on time. For the same purpose, a timesheet-like reports section is also included for an overview of the delivered tasks and corresponding time invested.
What is more, Temporita also improves in-team collaboration, by allowing team members to check up on each other without imposing or interrupting one another’s work.
Let’s sum up - Temporita provides its users with:
- Productivity, science based
- Cross-team alignment
- Time tracking and reporting
Temporita is based on thorough research about human motivation and procrastination prevention. Task delivery is ensured through a series of micro-strategies like:
☑️ Timeboxing: decide on what you want to work on ahead of time and assign a limited time in the day for it. When the time comes, start the task. Finish your work when the time ends. This will create a set of micro deadlines, which will be much easier to follow than the whole bulk over the day. Think of it like a budget, but for your time: you have to spend 8 hours on something. You can use timeboxing to “budget” 2 hours per day to the task for 4 days. This works two ways: it allows you to break the task into smaller units, as well as progress in small, but steady steps.
☑️ Implementation Intentions: a concept designed in 1999 by psychologist Peter Gollwitzer. Studies conducted by Gollwitzer in 1997 and earlier show that the use of implementation intentions can result in a higher probability of successful goal attainment, by predetermining a specific and desired goal-directed behavior in response to a particular future event or cue.
☑️ Minimize decisions numbers: The more decisions you have to make during a certain time period, the more likely you are to procrastinate when it comes to making new decisions. By minimizing the number of decisions to make within a certain timeframe, you can improve your ability to make decisions in a timely manner.
Temporita does not restrict users to set their boards in a certain way or have certain columns. It is designed to be as hassle free as possible and to work automatically for all users, regardless of the project setup. This way, there’s no stress in getting accustomed with and using the application itself.
How I built it
Temporita is built completely inside monday.com, using react, the monday.com SDK and the monday.com react UI components. It reads information via graphQL and uses the monday.com store to save data.
Challenges I ran into
My most significant challenge was projecting the addition of Implementation Intentions to a day´s work and task without making the user feel like it would be a useless, time-consuming task. This is why I built in the predefined list of IIs one can use as a starting point and inspiration.
Another challenge was keeping a sense of familiarity for the users inside the board. To try and keep it intuitive, I’ve kept the same structure, designs and colors the users already know.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
This project seemed like a gigantic series of tasks at the beginning. I’m proud of being able to break it into actionable pieces and actually getting to write this text saying that the project is done and ready for users.
What I learned
React, for starters :) and I got the chance to practice my hand in some design after many years. Also video editing, which I’ve never done before.
What's next for Temporita
Onboarding - to ease the accommodation of users and obtain some information related to their habits so it is easier for the app to provide assistance in their daily scheduling.
Task- and personality- based suggested Implementation Intentions - automated AI-based learning for tracking when and how a user works, as well as what tasks pose what sort of challenges. Temporita should then be able to more accurately suggest appropriate II or better suited time slots, as well as task segmentation.
Augmented reporting - reporting related to efficiency in specific days / day segments, or task types, and suggestions for users to generally improve their productivity.
Behaviour-changing gamification - this is yet another productivity hack: stimulating positive behaviour changes based on consistency and small steps reward.Users would start small, from committing to having no zero-tasks days, and work their way up to streaks of days in which all planned tasks are delivered on time.
Dark mode support - for comfortable 24/7 productivity assistance.