TagTime and quick (slash partial) zoning out

I’ve just started trying TagTime (using https://ttw.smitop.com/) and I stumbled across this thread on “philosophical setup.” As I’ve been using it, I’ve become more aware that my brain will often slightly dissociate/zone/wander/day-dream for a second or two at a time. It’s not that my focus is always entirely gone (though maybe it actually is?). Almost just a vague sense of partial focus, multiple times a minute but for mere seconds (or milliseconds!) at a time. If I get pinged during one of those moments (where I’m not really working but kind of am)… would I tag that I was zoning and therefore not focused on the task at hand? This is probably more of a wisdom call, but I’m curious how strict I should aim to be when tagging.


Excellent and confusing question! Can you operationalize it as whatever your best answer is to the question “what where you thinking of at the exact moment of the ping”?

PS: So much good stuff I’d forgotten about in that “philosophical setup” thread. I’m still very pleased with my pro tips: (1) Remember that the most likely moment among all future moments that a ping might ping is RIGHT NOW, and (2) Just start a tock (45 minute block of time) and expect a single ping to ping during it.

Those are both mathematically true facts!

PPS: Could that be another answer to your original question: start a timer and do a block of work and if you were as focused as it’s possible for you to be while the timer is running then any pings that happen during that time count.


I think you should aim to be as strict as you can. If the zoning out is really only miliseconds per minute, you should almost never get pinged during an episode. If it’s actually more frequent than that, it would be useful information to know. Tagtime can help you measure that fairly accurately.


Yeah, that might work for me! I’ll give it a shot.

That feels like it’s on the “less strict” side of the spectrum, if I’m thinking about things right? I might be okay with that! But I do appreciate your first suggestion as it might help force my brain into a heightened “think about what you need to be thinking about!” type of attentiveness.


Just to clarify, sometimes this dissociation lasts, perhaps, less than a second, but this might happen multiple times per minute. (It happened several times while I was typing this response! And I never stopped typing!)


‘yes and’ — tag it both as the activity you were doing and as something to mark your suspicion of distraction/dissociation. As Brent says, you’ll develop a fairly accurate measurement.