I’ve just come across this post by John Richardson:
50 minutes has changed my life. The concept of working in a focused manner for 50 minutes and then taking a 10 minute break has revolutionized the way I work. I find that I am much more productive when I work in this manner. Instead of multi-tasking mania, this focused approach has led to single-tasking nirvana.
Having read that, yesterday I decided to give it a try. I’m now in the midst of reading week, and I’m busy preparing for the exams next week. So I tried to use this 50 minutes rule for my study. I studied hard for 50 minutes, and then took 10 minutes break. In that 50 minutes time I focused on only that one task (study), while in the 10 minutes break I could do anything I like.
I must say that the result has been promising! I felt that my study time was more productive than usual. I absorbed more yesterday than in any previous day. I think there are three reasons for this:
- Focus on only single task
Previously, I often got distracted by emails, news, or something suddenly came to my mind. This time, I turned off the computer so I could fully concentrate on only one thing.
- 50 minutes is long enough
50 minutes is long enough to get myself deeply focused before the break. With shorter amount of time, maybe I won’t be as focused.
- There is “deadline pressure”
Setting a clear amount of time gave me a form of “deadline pressure”. It made my brain think that I had limited amount of time so I must work harder.
Well, that’s my impression from the first day of experiment. I will keep experimenting with this rule. The next challenge will be working with the computer. The distraction challenges would be higher. How can I get rid of them? Maybe by turning off the Internet?