An exploration in modeling productivity habits and tools in order to better understand and design for behavior change.


This project is an exercise in designing for productive behavior change. The project started as a concept for a productivity app, which combined net-blocking and time-boxing in an attempt to discourage mindless internet use and encourage focused productive activity.


Rather than just designing a product or service, I decided to approach the project with the mindset of designing a practice. In order to better do this, I looked to B.J. Fogg’s behavioral model, Flow theory, and interviews with students to get a better understanding of how I might approach the problem.


Taking what I’d learned from my research, I created a 2x2 model, crossing productivity and fulfillment with the intent of examining how we spend our time. This model is used to illustrate my theory of how mental stamina is spent based on patterns found in my research.I used this model as a lens to examine existing productivity tools and methods such as the pomodoro technique, don’t break the chain,

and net-blocking. This allowed me to better understand

the strengths and weaknesses of these tools/methods.

Using this information, I then created a journey map to see what contexts these tools and methods best fit into, and to find opportunities for improving a productive practice. The journey map highlights opportunities for self-distraction and shows which of these points are addressed by tools and methods, as well as showing where there’s room for improvement.