The philosophy behind Lazar Focus

In 2018, I was still using a MacBook as my main work machine.

Back then, I wrote the following paragraphs in my personal blog about the macOS app and website distraction blocker called Focus.

The first is about how I was initially resistant but then came around to the idea of relying an app that promised to help me focus on my work:

After years of resisting these types of software tools due to my belief that I should simply apply more grit and will power to squeeze out more focus hours, I finally broke down and purchased the macOS app called Focus. You click its pretty icon, and then your computer goes into focus mode: The Mail application and a bunch of other non-focus-related apps all get killed, and a bunch of websites (reddit, youtube, work chat, etc) are blocked for a user-configurable block of time.

Focus apps invert the power balance between will power and distractions

The second paragraph is perhaps more important.

It explains how a distraction blocker, such as Focus on macOS or Lazar Focus on Windows, flips on its head the power relation between your will power on the one hand and distractions on the other:

It usually takes a single moment of weakness for a distraction to terminate a valuable block of focus. It takes a single moment of strength for this tool to start a valuable block of focus.

The origin and philosophy of Lazar Focus

When I switched back to Windows for much of my work, I really missed the Focus app.

I could not find any Windows tool that had the same ease of use and the same collaborative approach as Focus, so I set out to build my own.

Lazar Focus is the result of that endeavour.

Being able to apply focus consistently is, without a doubt, a true super power.

Lazar Focus helps me to do just that, by offering a simple way, literally the clicking of a button, to start blocking all distractions, including apps and websites, on my laptop.

In addition to the active distraction blocking, the ritual of clicking a button that says “FOCUS”, and then the display of a progress bar counting up to 25 minutes (that’s the length of a pomodoro), is an encouragement to start and a reminder to stay focused until at least the end of that pomodoro.

Lazar Focus keeps track of and shows me how many focus blocks and hours I’ve completed today, and over all time.

Seeing how these numbers keep on rising energizes me.

In the future, there will be more stats and pretty charts to further strengthen us in our efforts to be the focus superheroes that we can be.

Finally, on an even more philosophical level, Lazar Focus is meant to augment and to team up with you, and not to try and hard limit your activities.

I favour encouragement over admonishment, as its effects are deeper and more durable.

Practise what you preach

My just-completed LF focus block description states “write philosophy behind LF post”. With a good bit of focus, this post took only 27 minutes and 46 seconds to write, according to the LF timer.

Imagine what you can do.

The only thing standing between you and outrageous success is continuous progress. – Dan Waldschmidt

It's Saturday today, so only this focus block... so far.