One of the most important things you can do to enhance your productivity is to keep focusing on your highest priorities, the big important things, which can easily be obscured by the rush of urgent demands and everyday maintenance tasks. Even when you’ve taken the time to reflect on your roles and define your priorities, it’s easy to lose sight of them during the day.
The Momentum personal dashboard extension for the Chrome browser offers an appealing way to set a clear focus for the day and be reminded of it each time you open a new tab in your browser.
The core features of the Momentum extension include:
- a large display of the current time (can be set to 12h or 24h)
- a personalized greeting (you can reset your name by double clicking on it)
- a new photograph each day as the dashboard background (mostly landscape photography) (hover your mouse over the photo description to see photographer credit and source link)
You can choose how many of the six other features you want to display from the settings gear icon:
- a focus statement -- when you first open the browser each day, you’ll be asked to fill in an answer to the question “what is your main focus for today?” After you’ve answered the question, your focus words or phrase appears on the dashboard.
- your customized list of quick web links
- weather widget
- an inspirational quote that changes each day (hover over it to see the author)
- a simple task list widget
- a search field
Since the photos and quotes change each day, the Momentum extension blends beauty and practicality with enough novelty that it remains something you notice and pay attention to. That’s important, if you want to use it to enhance your ability to choose activities that align with your goals.
What I find most valuable in the Momentum extension is the focus statement feature. As part of my morning reflection, I choose 1-3 verbs I want to prioritize in my activities during the day, or an attitude that I want to embody. That’s an important part of how I set the tone for my day. Adding that daily focus statement to my browser serves as an extra reminder that helps me stay intentional through my day.
The task list widget of Momentum is very limited, and it’s not a replacement for a task manager like Todoist, Wunderlist or Remember the Milk, which are all ProfHacker favorites. But it can be used to highlight a couple of key projects or tasks that you want to be sure to spend time on during the day.
Finally, I should note that Momentum does not yet synchronize across different devices -- if you’ve been working on your laptop and then open Chrome on your tablet, for instance, you won’t see the focus statement you entered that morning on the laptop. But if you deliberately use different devices for different tasks or phases of the day, this might be a useful way of distinguishing your focus for each. (The developer’s note in the Chrome store says that synchronization is coming soon, however.)
Do you really need to check the news headlines or Facebook right now? Just pausing for a moment as you open a new tab and viewing your key focus for the day can be all the reminder you need to choose a better next activity.
How do you remember your key focus for the day? Let us know in the comments!