Today, there are countless productivity technologies that claim to help you work with maximum efficiency. Few of them are more widely known and widely used. Pomodoro technique.. This is a time management system that suggests dividing your work tasks into 25-minute chunks and taking breaks between them.
The idea revolves around the notion that most people begin to lose focus after 25 minutes of continuous work and need a reset to stay productive. But there is a problem with that idea. The two tasks are not the same. And neither is two people about that! In short, a universal productivity system is not perfect for everyone.
However, there are alternatives that give you more flexibility and can be customized for your specific use case. This is called the flow time technique and here’s everything you need to know to get started with it.
What is the flow time technique?
The flowtime technique is not as well known as the Pomodoro technique, but it has been around for some time. In many respects, it is a direct descendant of Pomodoro. This was the brainchild of Zoe Read-Bivens, and she thought of it as a way to address some of the shortcomings she experienced while using the Pomodoro technique.
She found that sticking to the 25-minute work segment hampered the flow (the feeling of being absorbed in a particular task) and impaired productivity rather than increased productivity. To solve this problem, she sought to create a system that could enter and stay in the positive stream while retaining the beneficial aspects of the Pomodoro technique.
Basics of flow time technique
To get started with the flow time technique, the first thing you need to do is create a timesheet to help you. Manage your daily activities.. This can be done using a spreadsheet or manual, whichever is more convenient. Include the following column headings in the timesheet headings:
- Task name
- Time to start
- ending time
- Working hours
- Break time
Timesheets are a great way to track your daily tasks and establish the flow that works best for you. After setup is complete, use it as follows:
1. Select a task
To start, select the task you want to perform. It must be concrete and something that can be reasonably completed with the length of time you have. In other words, don’t choose a task like “paint my house”. Choose something like “paint the front door of your house”. Choosing a task that is too broad can make it difficult to keep working. So try breaking it down into the smallest parts that are easy to manage what you are doing.
2. Start working on the task
The next step is to start working on the task. Start by listing the tasks you want to work on in the appropriate fields in your timesheet. Then list the times when you want to start working. Once you start a task, the only rule you have to follow is Multitasking approved. This will help you focus on what you need to accomplish and minimize voluntary distractions.
3. Work until you need a break
You can then continue working on the listed tasks as often as you like. If you feel tired after 15 minutes, take a break. If you’re in a productive ditch, forget about time, and end up working for an hour in a row, that’s okay.
The idea is to know your own patterns and work in the segment that works best for you. If you can’t focus on a particular task, work for a shorter period of time. If you’re crazy about other types of tasks, work to maximize output as long as you feel you can stay focused.
You will find that the longest period you can sustain is about 90 minutes or so. This corresponds to your Ultradian rhythm. This is the alternating period of arousal and rest that our brain experiences throughout the day.
There are many case studies that show how productivity can be improved by taking regular breaks. This is one of the reasons why mandatory breaks are part of the Pomodoro technique. However, there is evidence that the unstructured Flowtime approach to breaks works as well. Recently, a tech company that instructed its employees to take breaks that seemed appropriate had a 23% increase in productivity levels, but no obligation was required.
4. Take a break of appropriate length
If you decide you need a break, go ahead. Make a note of the downtime in the correct place on the timesheet. You can take as long or short breaks as you like, but don’t abuse your privileges. Otherwise, it won’t be long until your break consumes most of your time.
As a general rule of thumb, try taking a 5 minute break every 25 minutes of work and increasing the break in proportion to the longer work time. You should use a timer to get back to the task in the right amount of time. And when the break is over, don’t forget to record the time you resumed work and list the length of the break.
5. Record distractions when distractions occur
There is always time while you work You will be distracted.. It may come in the form of a phone call, emergency email, or the urge to use the bathroom. When these things happen, record them in the break column of the timesheet. We will do our best to shorten the distractions, but do not try to block them.
The reason is that you are unlikely to succeed, and sometimes your distractions take precedence over what you are working on. Therefore, it is important not to simply try to deal with the distractions, but to deal with them when they seem appropriate to the distractions.
6. Repeat until work is complete
The next thing you need to do is repeat the above steps until the task you are working on is complete. Be sure to record the last downtime as you complete each task. If desired, you can calculate (and enter) the total work time when the task is completed, or you can perform all the calculations at once at the end of the day.
The important thing is not to leave a gap in time tracking. Once the timesheet is complete, it becomes an asset that enhances your ability to create work schedules that maximize your daily production.
What to do with the timesheet
The act of recording the duration of your work and breaks will help you keep working every day, but there is another important reason you are doing it. It means that your timesheet will gradually begin to reveal to you how to create the ideal daily schedule for yourself.
Therefore, at the end of each week, it will take some time to compare the timesheets. You may see certain patterns begin to appear. For example, you may find that the longest working periods usually occur before lunch, or that there are certain parts of the day that tend to be distracting. You can use this information to plan your next day more effectively.
In general, you need to cluster the most important tasks during the most productive times. So, for example, if you look at a detailed property record, you have time to do it when you know you can focus on it uninterrupted.
Conversely, you should schedule less important work at times that are most likely to be interrupted during work.So if you need time to do Reply to email Or answer the phone, you will know when to do it. This not only improves productivity, but also eliminates mistakes in work.
The main similarities between Flowtime and Pomodoro
If you are familiar with how the Pomodoro technique works, you may have noticed similarities with the flowtime technique. As explained earlier, this is intentional. The Flowtime technique is specially designed to retain three important features of the Pomodoro technique.
1. Accurate time tracking
One of the reasons why the Pomodoro technique is so effective for many is to create a rigorous system to facilitate time tracking. You need to divide your work tasks into 25-minute segments so you can be keenly aware of the tasks in front of you and how you are spending your time. That alone avoids wasting valuable work time because you have to consider every minute. Flowtime techniques also offer this advantage.
2. Elimination of multitasking
The Pomodoro technique requires you to select the tasks you want to work on and use a 25-minute timer to measure each work duration. It does a great job of continuing a task because you know what you’re trying to achieve from the moment you set the timer and you’re less likely to get lost in another task.
You don’t have to use a timer with the flow time technique, but the act of writing down the task itself does the same task. We know that we track the time spent on a particular task, so we tend to continue the task until the task is complete or it’s time for a break.
3. Promotion of breaks
One of the biggest murderers of productivity is fatigue, and there is plenty of data to prove it. Get a break Essential for maintaining best working performance. That is the real secret to the success of the Pomodoro technique’s reputation. It makes breaks mandatory and inevitable.
In comparison, the flowtime technique also insists that you take a break. It doesn’t force you to take it until you’re ready to take it. As such, success using the flowtime technique requires some additional self-discipline. But if you can follow the timer, there’s no reason you can’t learn to follow the signals your body sends when you need a timeout.
At the end of the day, you may find success using the Pomodoro technique. After all, there’s a reason it’s so popular. But if you’ve been using it for a while and find yourself nervous about its rigid construction, you’re not alone. Therefore, consider trying the flowtime technique for at least a week or two. You may find that it fits your work style much better and you accomplish more than ever before.
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Flow Time Technique: Pomodoro Alternative
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