Research shows that humans naturally move from full focus and energy to physiological fatigue every 90 minutes.
Many different methods have been developed around the idea of work and rest, including the 90-minute Technique, the Pomodoro Technique and the 52-17 Technique.
The important point isn’t the exact length of the sprint or the break, it’s to figure out what “pulse and pause” cycle works best for you
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In addition to the science behind the productivity benefits of “pulse and pause”, many users of the technique feel the deadline approach provides added value.
Ian Cleary, founder of Razorsocial (an award-winning marketing technology blog): “When you have a deadline, you are more productive.”
Regular exercise improves our metabolism and increases energy levels. But many feel that including exercise within the workday is asking for too much—and that’s why using a longer break for simple exercise is so effective. Simple exercise could include a 20-minute power walk or a bike ride of similar length.
When we set up a small goal like 25 minutes, it becomes easier to hit. Imagine a 20-page report. Can you write it in a 25-minute sprint? Probably not. But, it will get you started. You will knock off a few pages. The cognitive load to work is suddenly shifted from writing a 20-page report shifts to just staying with the task for 25 minutes.
The mini-breaks help in regaining focus, like the breaks between exercise circuit. While we are working the focused state kicks in. On break, it lets us take a step back. Kicks in the diffused state of mind. You can take a deeper look at this on the Learning how to Learn Coursera course or a summary video on the topic . It’s like taking a step back before taking the jump.
The big break is the big carrot. It’s the prize. Give your brain and yourself a well-deserved break. The dopamine rush it deserves after all the hard work. It also trains our brain to like the process. Building a habit to work and get rewarded at end of the cycle. This is where the fun kicks in. For Some people award can be an episode of Anime, we can take it a step ahead and replace it with manga or gaming session or catching an episode.
Pomodoro is doing focused work in 25-minute sessions throughout the day. After each session, take a five-minute break. After completing four consecutive Pomodoros, take a 20 to 30-minute break.
The human brain just wasn’t built for the extended focus we ask of it these days.
The fix for this unfocused condition is simple—all we need is a brief interruption (aka a break) to get back on track.