Developing a sense of time with Tasker alerts on my Android phone

I wanted to get a better sense of time, so I configured my phone to vibrate every half-hour in a short pattern of two quick bursts. That way, I can feel time passing, and I can distinguish these vibrations from message alerts. I used the following Tasker script:

Profile: Buzz time (13)
Time: From 08:00 every 30m Till 22:00
Enter: Anon (14)
A1: Vibrate Pattern [ Pattern:0,100,100,100 ]

After the quick buzz, I usually glance at the clock to confirm the time. It’s a handy way to remember that time is passing and that I should make the most of it. It’s not a big distraction. I can still stay in flow when I’m coding or writing. If I find myself wandering, I can bring myself back.

I don’t remember whose blog post started me down this path of making time a sense, but that was a good idea. (If you recognize yourself, please comment!)

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  • That was probably me, when I wrote this:

    Which is ironic, because I originally found out about the Northpaw through you! Now I can copy this Tasker profile and save myself the trouble of figuring out how to do it myself, haha.

  • Douglasgpratt

    Chip and Dan Heath talk about this in their upcoming book, Decisive. The idea is to set an alarm and ask “am I working on something important right now.”

  • This tasker script contrasts with Tagtime, an Android app (from the makers of Beeminder) that periodically and pseudo-randomly pings the user for a current activity update.

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  • I accidentally came across Bodhi Timer in the Google App market.  It comes with a bell and a Tibetan Singing Bowl as alarm tones, or you can upload your own tone.  The timer can be set to restart, so you could have it go off every 20 minutes.  It’s great, but I discovered that a cubemate might have tinnitus, so I’ll have to keep the volume very low.  I should write a Java version so I can run it on my desktop.