The Momentum App to Help You Focus


The Momentum App

This year, I’m cutting back on running my life from to-do lists. For every one idea I complete, six pop up to take its place. My to-do lists have grown too large… and too discouraging. I still have lists and specific calendars to track things, but I’ve returned to focusing on only two to three main priorities per day. Generally, I don’t check about the other to-do items until these main priorities are done.

I recommend the Momentum app for a beautiful and motivational page to help you focus when you sit down to work on your computer. This app is available in Firefox and as a Chrome extension.

How It Works

Momentum opens as your default new tab in your browser. You’ll see something like the following image:

After adding your name, the free version of Momentum looks like the next screenshot. Every day, you’ll have a new beautiful photo and tweetable quote. If you set it up, you’ll see the weather in the upper corner.

The settings (in the lower left corner) are easy. If you use the Percent Clock setting, you’ll see how far along you are in your day. Double-click this to return to the time clock. If needed, go to Momentum’s Help Center to choose the various options for your personalized Momentum new tab page.

The Main Focus

I use the “what is your main focus for today?” to list my three top items. Yesterday and today are (in order): e4e blog post, medical bill, MPD thank yous.

I’m finishing #1 now and will do #3 after dinner. I made progress but didn’t complete the medical bill task. You could list these separately in the Todo in the lower right if you prefer (more on this in a minute).

Hopefully, tonight, I’ll check off my three top items. The focus clears the next day whether or not I check it off.

I just turned on the “Balance” option so my focus only shows up 9 to 5 on work days.

The To-Do List

Of course, use the to-do list option in a normal way, if you like. These items will stack up on the right side and carry over to the next day. Drag and drop each item to order them. The paid version syncs with some other to-do apps (see NOTES). I have too many potential items to use Momentum as my to-do list. If this is true for you as well, the Todo list comes back every day, so I have other ideas how to use this list feature.

To Choose Your Focus from a Framework

Here’s what I’ve done, I decided to list some things that help me make decisions. I have small notes about my Birkman, Strengths Finder, and Myers-Briggs (I’m an INTJ) results. For instance, some sample notes are:

  • INTJ: will take initiative alone, small group for brainstorming
  • Birkman: stress makes me disorganized and distracted
  • Strengths: Achiever needs downtime to avoid burn out

Looking through those notes from time-to-time help me decide what I should be doing or letting go.

Another idea for you might be to put in small notes about what God is speaking to you currently, helping you focus on His guidance.

To Move Forward with What’s Important

I could see the possibility of listing in the Todo feature: 1) only the big items for the next month or 2) long-term goals. Choose items from these for your daily focus. As you know, the urgent things crowd them out.

So, if you’re writing the Great American Novel, list some milestones. When you choose your focus for the day you might have: “work on character sheet, clear ministry card, call auto shop for appointment.” You’d be working toward a long-term goal and taking care of those niggling necessities of life.

To Be Diligent in Prayer

I’m not very good at prayer, so using the list for prayer needs and promises would help remind me to “pray without ceasing.”

Do you use Momentum? How are you using it? Do you have creative ideas to share?

NOTES:

  • Momentum Plus features are available for $2.50 / month. One feature allows you to integrate with another to-do app, like Asana, ToDoist. and Trello. I find the free version is all I need.
  • I took the screenshot of “Spence” from this YouTube video about setting up Momentum. Watch the video if you’d like to see Momentum in action.
  • The screenshot of “gorgeous” is from Momentum’s site. The rest of the screenshots are from my account.

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