Proposed feature: Carmack-style focus block automatic music start-stop

This is the first in a number of short posts about planned features for Lazar Focus.

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A few years back, I wrote the following on my personal blog about what I dubbed the Carmack Productivity Method:

John Carmack is the modern-day genius who was the lead programmer of genre- and era-defining games like Wolfenstein 3DDOOM (“one of the most significant and influential titles in video game history”) and Quake. During working on these projects, he invented a number of important computer graphics techniques.

It turns out that Carmack is not only a genius, but a productivity and focus monster.

In this 2013 blog post, a colleague of Carmack at id Software describes how Carmack would apparently play CDs while he was working. If he was checking his email, or if he was interrupted by a colleague, or he needed to go to the bathroom, in other words, if he was not focusing on the core of his work, he would pause the CD player.

By the end of the day, he knew exactly how much focused work he had done by how far he had gotten through his playlist.

Compared to the interrupt-driven way programmers work today (thanks internet!) this sounds like an amazingly visceral way to recognise and signal interruptions in your flow: THE MUSIC SIMPLY STOPS.

Would you be able to implement something like this for your work?

How about this:

When you start a focus block in Lazar Focus, it automatically starts your media player, and when you stop that focus block, it automatically stops the music.

In addition to the app and website blocking Lazar Focus is already helping you with, you get the additional visceral cue of music ON for focus, music OFF for getting up and taking a break.

This would be relatively straight-forward to implement as a configurable, opt-in feature.

Please let me know what you think!

P.S. Due to the APIs already in use by LF, it would be possible perform any number of other actions automatically on start or stop of a focus block.

Be deliberate, get things done!

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