Recently, I’ve been trying to increase my productivity, and make sure that I’m spending my time as wisely as possible. I’m currently reading Getting Things Done by David Allen, which I would highly recommend for anyone interested in this topic. Aside from that aspect, I’ve begun adapting the Pomodoro Technique to my own needs and have found that really successful. The Pomodoro Technique is basically 25 minutes of intense focus, followed by a short 5 or so minute break. Then rinse and repeat. Here’s how I’ve adapted it to work for me, and maybe you can adapt it as well:
Many of the tasks I perform take less than 25 minutes, so often I shorten the time down to maybe 15-20 mins. I still use a timer and eliminate all other distractions for that time period, such as email, Twitter, etc… My breaks are generally shorter than 5 minutes, usually just enough time to respond to an email or two, or check Twitter. Then I start over again.
I’ve found that this is a great way to maintain focus on a single task and get it finished in a reasonable amount of time, rather than being constantly interrupted by extraneous notifications from your computer or phone. If you have a hard time ignoring those notifications when they do come in during one of your cycles, I’d recommend turning them off. I think you’ll find your productivity is better off in the long run.
Give it a try, and let me know what you think!
[Image via *saxon*]