What's your productivity dynamic during the day - short spikes with breaks or longer intervals?

Misha Krunic
7 replies
I'm really curious about this question. For how long can you be focused on one thing? Do you think there's a generational difference regarding this matter? Has it changed over time for you? Maybe you're even somewhere in between on the spectrum of short productivity spikes versus longer chunks of work, so please share! Also, I'm mostly interested in regular periods of work, as opposed to when the launch date is nearing. But, if you want, you can share the differences you noticed between these two periods!

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Matthew Johnson
Co-founder/Taskable, a smart to do list
I love this topic! For me, my work focus stays the same whether it's crunch time or not. The first time I tried Pomodoro, it was life-changing for me. But over time I found that 25 minutes was too short, and I'd often have to break my flow to take the break. Similarly, five-minute breaks didn't give me enough time to reset and be ready to get back into focus. Then I happened across this article about toddlers, where it suggested if they are having a tough time with something to give them a 17-minute break, because that was the amount of time the human brain needs to reset. It also offhandedly mentioned, we can really only be focused on something for 52 minutes at a time. I instantly changed my timer intervals to 52/17 and it works perfectly for me. I've tried to make the work intervals longer, and the breaks shorter. But I keep coming back to 52/17. I wrote up a post on this if of interest: https://taskablehq.com/blog/how-...
Misha Krunic
@mattcrail Thanks for sharing! Those numbers seem interesting, perhaps I'll try that approach as well.
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Matthew Johnson
Co-founder/Taskable, a smart to do list
@price2spy Let me know how it works for you :)
Tytti Sandström
Project Coordinator
Great topic! I've noticed, that i'm much more effecting during morning hours compered to after midday. I'd estimate that if the total amount of work to be don would be 100, I'll get 60 of it done before lunch and only 40 after lunch. I really feel my brain gets tired toward the end of the day. Some days i feel like a sloth during 2pm-4pm. There are many things that affect on how long i can stay focused. Things that help: - calm surroundings (little movement & noices) - peaceful music (i love what youtube has to offer!) - Being surrounded by other focused people - blocking instant messages and other things that could disturb - choosing the task by my mood (my job is really versatile) - having the day scheduled - knowing that i have enough time for everything (possibly even setting an alarm to when i need to stop working) - If i get distracted, taking a real, about 15min break when meditating or doing something meditative (like emptying dishwasher :D) So, when my brain is in optimal state, i can stay focused for hours. When my brain is tired, i have to really put effort to staying focused. Then i use "15 minutes focus" "5 min break" techique.
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Tytti Sandström
Project Coordinator
An also, for me it's really easy to stay focused when working with people, like in meetings :)
Misha Krunic
@tytti_sandstrom I agree with everything you've pointed out. Working on the things you're passionate about, being in a productive environment, having minimal distractions & having control over your schedule are all very important. Thanks for sharing!
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