I use Merlin Mann’s uncluttered desktop philosophy to keep myself focused. The method of removing all the desktop decorations and gui furniture works really well if you’re prone to distraction – I highly recommend it, and my productivity has gone way up since implementing it.
The only shortcoming is that I’ve become very used to glancing up to the right hand corner of my screen to check the time so I know when it’s time to stop whatever I’m doing and move on to the next task. Now that the menu bar is gone I forget to check the time until it’s too late!
Solution: Tiny Alarm. This application sits on the menu bar so it takes up very little desktop real estate. Instead of remembering to check the clock I only have to remember to set Tiny Alarm to go off at the time of my chosing. Then I can go back to working in complete obliviousness of time. Tiny Alarm will use whatever alert sound I want to notify me that time is up.
So simple, but so helpful.