How using the app Centered made me more productive

Centered is a really cool Pomodoro Technique type of focus application that helps you to stay productive during the day as you work on completing your tasks. For those of you who are not familiar with the Pomodoro Technique, it is a time management method that uses timers to break your work into intervals which are separated by a short break.

So for example you could work for 25 minutes and then have a 5 minute break to do something else like stretch your legs. Then you come back and do another 25 minutes repeating the cycle. If you find 25 minutes too short you could make it 1hr 30 minutes or so before you have a break. It’s up to you and is fully customisable it can be as long or as short as you want it to be.

In their own words this is how they describe their application:

Run Centered while you work and get into your Flow State faster.

Centered offers Flow Music & automated Productivity Coaching, Mono-Tasking, Do-Not-Disturb on Mac, Notification Blocking, Distraction Nudges and an elegant Task Management Dashboard.

As of right now they have a Mac, Windows and web app version which you can find here Centered — Get Your Life Back.

How Centered changed my workflow

I have known about The Pomodoro Technique for quite a few years but to be honest I was never able to truly use it to its full potential. It felt too strict for my liking because I always preferred to just do what I wanted to do without having to set annoying time limits. Calendar blocking is another time management strategy but it once again felt far too strict like I was getting micro managed. I’m sure it works well for a lot of people and maybe one day I can come up with a solution that works best for me.

In any case I was not expecting to use Centered that much because I already had Notion and Todoist which I was using for tracking my to dos and tasks. It took a while but to my surprise I started to use it daily and it is now part of my workflow whenever I am doing something work related. I only use it for work related stuff because it is really good at helping you track your time so you can see how productive you are with work.

I started using Centered in November 2021 and I have been using it almost every single day since. In fact I am using it right now as I am writing this article!

How to use Centered

The application is pretty straightforward in terms of usage. This is the usual step by step process that you will go through.

  1. You create a task
  2. You give that task a time (minutes, or hours)
  3. You start a session and begin working

The Task Manager

This is where you can manage your tasks, sessions and see your streaks.

Gamification

Centered even has elements of gamification because there is a leaderboard so you can see how other users compare to you. It is even possible to see other users if they have chosen to enable their webcam this is known as having accountability partners. You are more focused to work if you know that other people can see you working. Of course you don’t need to show your webcam everyone will just see your profile image.

The Leaderboard

The leaderboard shows how you compare to other users when it comes to tasks completed and time flowed. You can see daily, weekly and monthly.

As of writing I am top of the daily and monthly leaderboard 🔥🚀

You can also follow people and see what tasks they are currently on working too.

Analytics

Centered provides a lot of cool analytics for overall time flowed in addition to the breakdown of each task and session.

Conclusion

I am extremely competitive and an avid gamer so the gamification in this app and the leaderboard is what turned me into a consistent user. You get a real sense of accomplishment every single time you complete tasks and seeing yourself on the leaderboard with hours of time flowed next to your name is a great achievement. The app has free and paid plans and you can do quite a lot with the free plan so there is no excuse for you not giving it a try.

The app has a wide array of features which include background music which you can play if you want to. And there is an automated voice coach which gives you notifications like how much time is left and when you should be taking a break. All of these options can be toggled on or off if you want it is up to you. There are integrations for Slack and Linear with Google Mail, Google Calendar, Asana and Spotify integrations coming soon.

👨🏿‍💻 Software Developer @CGI_Global 🖼 Content Creator. Sharing the mindset and content so you work hard to grow stronger than your past self ☯️