Living Life In Fullscreen Mode

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Over the past few days, I tried an experiment in focus — going into fullscreen mode with Chrome. I was inspired by discovering that Word had a focus mode that did the same and minimized controls. I tried doing the same for writing Medium posts and had some interesting takeaways about my own idea of “focus”.

First, the good…

Fullscreen mode is great for writing. After each sentence, there’s a little bit of pain in thinking about what to write next and it’s easy to ease this pain with a shot of distraction. Maybe check Facebook status or check the score or news or the inbox. Here’s what my Medium screen looks like while I’m writing…

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It’s minimal. There are are no tabs, menus, or other tools to distraction. Heck, even the “Draft” bar on the top could disappear. There’s no where for your thoughts to go except as words on the page.

In that respect, fullscreen mode kept me a little more focused during my 25 minute Tomato sessions. More than feeling a sense of flow, I felt a build of much needed escape from the immediate task.

What I also found was that I was able to get in more Tomato sessions after a quick distraction refresher. Depending on my call schedule, I might get seven or eight sessions a day. However, on full screen days, I might get 2–3 more sessions. That’s not insignificant.

The bad…

Some tasks, especially research based or ones that require flipping to a calendar, can be more difficult in full screen. You need to remember what you opened in terms of tabs or applications and then need to remember the toggling shortcuts to get in between. For example, going to calculator required exiting fullscreen mode.

My conclusion is that fullscreen mode is great for writing or brainstorming and getting more focus. It isn’t ideal for research tasks.

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