Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is TimeChi?
TimeChi is a time management and productivity device designed to help you work better through the proven methodology of timeboxing. In this sense, TimeChi will help increase your focus levels, while keeping you balanced and mindful.
Q. What is timeboxing?
Timeboxing is the act of allocating fixed time-frames to tasks. It is used in many project management and personal time management methodologies such as Agile, the Pomodoro technique, and the SMART criteria, to name a few.
Through timeboxing, large complex tasks are broken down into smaller, more manageable ones. The fixed time-frame also helps curb procrastination, and getting lost down a rabbit hole on a single task.
Q. What is flow?
Many of us have experienced a time where you’ve been completely absorbed in the task at hand. So focussed, that you completely lost track of time, and what felt like a couple of hours was actually three or four, and you walk away with a great deal of work done. This is what’s known as the ‘flow’ state, or being ‘in the zone’. It is a state in which you’re not only getting your best work done, but also getting enjoyment out of it and a sense of accomplishment at the end. It is the complete opposite of struggling with your work.
TimeChi also uses the term Flow to refer to a set of focus/break timeboxes which, similar to the Pomodoro technique, ends with a longer break.
When you start a Flow on TimeChi, you’re starting with a clear understanding of what you need to do and how to do it – and therefore can simply jump right in.
Q. What does it do?
TimeChi comes with a smart timeboxing function that you can personalize to help you focus. It informs companion apps on other devices to block distractions and manage interruptions by:
- putting your smartphone into DND;
- blocking time-wasting websites;
- setting your status as busy on chat clients; and
- muting notifications and pop-ups from emails, websites, chat clients, and much more!
The TimeChi display features a traffic light signal for co-workers, indicating when you are in a Flow, and prompts them to return at a later time.
Q. How does it work?
TimeChi works over WiFi to notify companion apps on your phone and computer about what mode you are in. The apps listen for these signals and take the appropriate action based on your settings. For example, when the app receives the signal that a focus period has started it will then start to mute notifications and block the list of websites you defined in your setting. When the focus period ends and a break starts, the app will then unmute and unblock those notifications and websites.
Once you’ve made your account and connected the TimeChi to your network, just ♫ push the button ♫ and away you go!
Q. Why a physical device?
“Why wouldn’t I just use a phone app?”
Well, how many times have you gone to use your phone only to be distracted by a notification? That little red bubble with a number in it? That chat message just sitting there waiting to be replied to? – we are all guilty of this.
Simply put, phones are a productivity KILLER!
- They buzz and bleep at you.
- There are pretty colors to distract you.
- All your friends are there.
- There’s those little, numbered, red bubbles enticing you to take a quick peek.
TimeChi is a physical device that you can use on the go – wherever, whenever. Just push the button and get started!
Because TimeChi features a countdown display, if someone comes to interrupt you they’ll know you’re in the zone, and when they can come back. Something a phone (or a pair of headphones!) just won’t be able to do.
Q. How do I set it up?
To start with, you’ll need to create a TimeChi account. You can do this in our apps or through the website – the same way you would any internet account – by picking a username and password, and verifying with your email. After you’ve created your account and logged in, you will see that we’ve made a default Flow setting. This setting includes things such as: the timings for your focus and break periods, the websites you’d like to block during these periods, when to mute your phone, app integrations (Slack, Spotify, etc.), and more as we continue to add them. You can create and edit different settings for different scenes and workflows, and they are automatically synced to all your companion apps – no need to configure individual apps.
Like other internet devices, when you first get your TimeChi you will need to connect it to your wifi network – which you can easily do via our mobile apps. After it is connected, your TimeChi will be linked to your account and can now interface with your phone as well as our other apps for desktop and browsers.
Now that you’re set up, you just hit the button and let the companion apps work away in the background.
Q. Do you have access to websites I use?
Not at all. The only thing we keep on our servers is the list of addresses so that they can be synced across all your apps. The apps simply look to see if the URL that you’re attempting to access matches one in your list and blocks it if it does. The only other thing we might get is an error log if something goes wrong.
Q. What makes TimeChi so great?
TimeChi is the only work companion tool that brings all the proven productivity and time management techniques under one device – and more.
With TimeChi, you can set and forget, and start being more productively immediately. But don’t just take our word for it, read the stories from others who have used TimeChi – or better yet, try one for yourself!