To make up for my lack of productivity these last few days, I’ve been employing the Pomodoro method since I came into my office. I’m starting this during one of the long breaks (15 minutes). If you haven’t heard of the Pomodoro method, I’d highly recommend doing a quick internet search on it. You can adjust the timers to your needs, but the most common is 25 minutes of focus with a 5 minute break, and it repeats for a few cycles until you reach the long 15-minute break.
The idea behind it is that our brains start to lose focus around the half-hour mark. This will of course vary from one person to the next, but generally it’s a good rule of thumb. So giving you breaks after period of concentration, you allow your brain to take a recharge and be ready to focus once again for another period. Studies have shown that trying to force yourself to focus non-stop for hours is actually counterproductive. Even though you may be doing your best to focus only on the task at hand, your ability to retain information or work more effectively will decline over time.
It reminds me of the strategy I used to employ for running–which I’m planning on employing once again. You run for 5 minutes and you walk for 1 minutes. It lets your body recover briefly and helps you pace yourself better over long distances. It’s all about the long game!
And surprisingly, I finished this little post in the span of my 15-minute break. I was planning on starting it, and then finishing it up at lunch. Go me! 🙂