As software developers, we often find ourselves juggling multiple tasks, facing distractions, and struggling to maintain focus. However, implementing simple strategies can significantly enhance our productivity and help us stay on track. In this blog post, we’ll introduce you to a unique approach called the “Nagger” technique, designed to tackle attention-related challenges and improve task completion. Let’s dive in!

The Concept behind the “Nagger” Technique: The “Nagger” technique is a personalized timer that acts as a gentle reminder to stay focused on a specific task. Inspired by the concept of overcoming ADHD traits, this technique aids in minimizing distractions and refocusing during unpleasant or mundane tasks. By incorporating the “Nagger” into your workflow, you can reduce the likelihood of becoming sidetracked and increase your overall efficiency.

Understanding the Shell Function: To implement the “Nagger” technique, we’ll utilize a shell function called nagme(). This function accepts two parameters: the duration in minutes and the task description. Let’s take a closer look at the code:

nagme () {
    [ "$#" -ne 2 ] && printf "usage: $0 [in_minutes] [text]\n" && return 1
    printf "sleeping $1 min before telling you to $2\n"
    sleep $(echo $1\*60|bc)
    espeak "$2" > /dev/null 2>&1
    while :
        sleep 30
        echo -n '.'
        espeak "I'm nagging you to $2" > /dev/null 2>&1

The nagme() function starts by checking if the correct number of arguments is provided. If not, it displays the correct usage and returns an error. Next, it informs you about the duration and task you’re about to undertake. The function then sleeps for the specified duration, after which it uses the espeak command to audibly notify you of the task at hand. The function enters a loop where it repeatedly echoes a dot and nags you verbally every 30 seconds until you stop it manually.

How to Incorporate the “Nagger” Technique: Implementing the “Nagger” technique is straightforward. Follow these steps to integrate it into your workflow effectively:

Step 1: Set Up the Environment: Ensure you have the necessary dependencies installed. In this case, we require the espeak command-line tool for speech synthesis. You can install it using your package manager.

Step 2: Define the nagme() Function: Copy the nagme() function code provided above and add it to your shell environment, such as your .bashrc or .zshrc file. Alternatively, you can define the function in a separate script and source it when needed.

Step 3: Utilize the “Nagger” Technique: To leverage the “Nagger” technique, call the nagme() function with the desired duration and task description as arguments. For example:

$ nagme 30 "Empty the washing machine" This command initiates a 30-minute “Nagger” session that reminds you to empty the washing machine every 30 seconds until you manually stop it.

Step 4: Reap the Benefits: While working on your tasks, resist the temptation to turn off the “Nagger” prematurely. Allow the technique to work its magic by keeping you engaged and refocused until the task is complete. Over time, you’ll notice an improvement in your ability to maintain attention and avoid over-engineering during hyperfocus periods.

Conclusion: By incorporating the “Nagger” technique into your software development workflow, you can combat distractions, enhance focus, and improve your overall productivity. This personalized timer acts as a gentle reminder, ensuring you stay on track and complete tasks efficiently. Give it a try and experience the positive impact it can have on your concentration and output. Happy coding!