Have you ever struggled to focus on your technical writing? Even though I enjoy writing research papers, I too can sometimes find it difficult to focus on technical writing. So, what should you do when you mind is wandering and you have to finish some content by a deadline? Of course, set a timer!
Since I prepare papers and presentations
using Neovim in a terminal window running
tmux, I recently looked for a timer that I could also run at the command
prompt. Thankfully, I discovered this
post about the
If you check the documentation for
termdown, you will notice that it is a Python program that you install by typing
the following command in your terminal window:
pip install termdown. This program has a lot of options that you can
learn more about by reading its documentation. For my purposes, I wanted the countdown timer to run for 30 minutes and
then to trigger an Ubuntu notification when it expired.
Is it possible to achieve this goal with a single command in your terminal! Here it is:
termdown 30m -T "Distraction-Free Writing" --no-figlet && notify-send "Distraction-Free Writing" \ "Task Finished\!"
The first parameter specifies the number of minutes for which I will be writing and the second gives a title to the
countdown display. Using the
--no-figlet parameter ensures that
termdown shows a minimal countdown timer. Finally,
when the timer completes, the call to
notify-send will trigger an Ubuntu notification with "Distraction-Free Writing"
as the title and "Task Finished!" as the message.
Do you have any questions about this technique? Or, do you have some tips for distraction-free writing? If you do, then I hope that you will contact me to share some of your ideas.
Enjoy this post? If so, please read, SEED Interview with Brian Blose, my most recent article.