Ditch the Adderall and switch to the Pomodoro Technique. In a world full of productivity BS, here are my thoughts on something that has worked for me.
How many times have you sat down, ready to work, then spend the next 47 minutes diving down the rabbit hole of YouTube?
I used to succumb to procrastination temptation daily. Sometimes, I still do. I’m human. But the urge to do anything besides the task at hand strikes much less thanks to the Pomodoro Technique.
What is the Pomodoro Technique? Here’s the breakdown.
Work on a timer for 25 minutes
Take a break on a timer for 5 minutes
Repeat 3-4 times
Take a more extended break (30-60 min) before restarting the cycle
To be clear: 25 minutes on, 5 minutes off, wash, rinse, repeat. For every hour that passes, you should be getting 50 minutes of work done — not a bad level of productivity.
For the past year, I’ve used the Pomodoro Technique in some capacity almost every day: writing, responding to emails, editing podcasts, researching, etc. This technique only works if you respect the timer. I use the Tomato Timer (I’m using it to write this article right now).
The Tomato Timer has the 25 and 5-minute spans built-in, and the count down appears on the top of the page even when you navigate to a different tab. You can also choose to hide the timer, which then beeps when it hits zero.
People talk about locking into work for 2-3 hour spans. I’ve always wondered how the hell people do that. No matter how fierce I focus, my mind will seek out a suitable distraction within the half-hour.
For this reason, I love the Pomodoro Technique. Unless I just took a 30 mg extended-release Adderall to the face, I’m going to want a screen break every half-hour or so.
Things I like to do during my five-minute break:
Take a piss
Refill my water/coffee
Text my ex
Watch Joe Rogan videos
The possibilities are endless. Just make sure your ass is back in the seat when the five minutes are up.
Also, I find myself more able to enter the “flow state” (see below) when on the Tomato Timer. Working towards a break makes me feel more motivated to earn that five minutes.
If I ignore the clock and surf Reddit for 18 out of 25 minutes, I feel like a piece of shit, and the whole cycle gets thrown off. Many times, the buzzer will catch me off guard, in the zone, typing furiously.
The interruption of the flow state may be the only negative of the Pomodoro Technique. Sometimes, I get so in the zone that I don’t want to stop when the timer hits zero. But, I know that if I keep going, I’ll burn out more quickly.
If you want to blow past the timer, by all means, blow it.
You probably have more horsepower than I do. The Pomodoro Technique isn’t for everyone, but it is worth everyone trying it. Let us know what you think.
Have any other life hacks?
Shoot us an email as we’re always looking for more ways to achieve superhuman status.