Thinking Out Loud

Have You Heard of the Focus 50 Routine?

Following on from yesterday I thought I would share my method for really getting tasks done. I was introduced to the “Focus 50” routine less than 12 months ago and am so pleased with the way it works for me, I wonder why I didn’t try it sooner.
The basis is 50-20-50. Fifty minutes of full focus on one task, twenty minutes break to move around or do some small task then another fifty minutes of full focus on one task (it doesn’t have to be the same as the first session). What I find is that this combined two hour block of timed focus gives me a boost of completed tasks I know I would not get done in a standard 2 hour session. It also allows plenty of time during a working day for all the other tasks that would normally creep in to make me feel busy but not necessarily productive.

I use my phone as the timer, turn it to airplane mode at the beginning of the session, set the timer for the first fifty minutes then start working. It still surprises me when the timer goes off – I am so engrossed in the task, knowing subconsciously that I will not be disturbed, that the time seems to go much faster than normal. Using a timer also means I am not distracted by checking how long I have to go!  If there are others in the office I do let them know I am doing a “Focus 50” so they don’t interrupt. The middle twenty minute session I usually get up and move around with some tasks that can be completed easily in that time and don’t necessarily need brain power (washing up is often included!!). The its back to the desk for another fifty minute focus session.
By doing this routine just twice a day I have dramatically increased my productive output across tasks in all sorts of areas. Combined with “free writing” which I will talk about another time, I feel I can really get things done!

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