initially it felt like the Pomodoro Technique and i were a match made in productivity heaven. the 25-minute work cycles were an ideal length, tracking them with check marks made my efficiency visual, and the five-minute breaks felt both generous and prudent.
i used it so religiously it took a while to notice the problems. but eventually it became impossible to ignore my exhaustion at the end of each Pomodoro day.
now i understand the timed increments jolted me out of my flow. after the arbitrary pause, the system tried to shoehorn me back into a work rhythm only to airlift me out again, and too soon.
all i wanted was a way to verify i was working instead of spacing out, a reminder to stretch, stand up and move, and a nudge to look away from the screen to rest my eyes.
my alternative is much less disruptive. i simply set the Repeat Timer app to chime once every 20 minutes. it’s calm, undemanding, and best of all, i don’t need to do anything. the next 20 minutes begin right after the previous ones.
but unless i’d had the presence of mind to notice how i felt and reevaluate my technique, i’d be spinning my wheels. sure, you must know the rules in order to break the rules.
but you also need to know yourself well enough to see beneath the surface. to say, this might work for everyone else on the planet, but it isn't appropriate for me. just as important as incorporating techniques is knowing when to let them go.
how do you stay focused? what are your productivity hacks or habits? tell me in the comments!