When I was over at Lifehacker I found this pretty cool program that someone developed called Jedi Concentrate. The point of the software is to dim all of the windows behind the one that your working on. That way it will help you focus on only that window.
That software comes from the App A Day website which is constantly launching new open source software. Someone had taken his Jedi Concentrate and threw a few options on it such as opacity and color of the dim. That version is much better in my opinion.
However, I got to reading through the comments and there were a few recommendations for making the software better. The first thing that half of the commenters pointed out was that it doesn’t work on a multi-monitor display. The second thing is that the dimming effect is removed as soon as you switch windows…and you have to press F12 each time you want to reapply the effect.
Then someone in the comments referred to Ghoster which is a similar freeware program that, just like Jedi Concentrate, does not need to be installed. However, I find it to be much better because when you switch windows it will constantly dim anything in the background. One option that I changed right away with this is the “showontop” option otherwise the taskbar is always dimmed as well. I have been using it for a little while now but there appears to be some bugs in it.
So those are three pretty good solutions to helping you focus on the window that you’re working on. I don’t think that I will continue to use this software because if I need to focus on a window I will probably just maximize it. ;)