The Flowtime Technique: A Pomodoro Alternative

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Today, location are countless productivity techniques that declare to thief you activity astatine highest efficiency. Among them, fewer are much wide known and wide utilized than nan Pomodoro Technique. It’s a clip guidance strategy that suggests that you break down your activity tasks into 25-minute chunks and return breaks successful betwixt them.

The thought revolves astir nan conception that astir group statesman to suffer attraction aft 25 minutes of continuous activity and will request a reset to stay productive. But there’s a problem pinch that idea: nary 2 tasks are nan same. And for that matter, neither are immoderate 2 people! That intends a one-size-fits-all productivity strategy can’t perchance beryllium nan champion fresh for everyone.

But there’s an replacement that provides much elasticity and allows you to customize it for your circumstantial usage cases. It’s called nan Flowtime Technique, and here’s everything you request to cognize to usage it and commencement getting much done.

What Is nan Flowtime Technique?

The Flowtime Technique, while not arsenic well-known arsenic nan Pomodoro Technique, has been astir for immoderate time. In galore ways, it’s a nonstop descendent of Pomodoro. It’s nan brainchild of Zoe Read-Bivens, and she thought it up arsenic a intends of dealing pinch immoderate of nan shortcomings she knowledgeable while utilizing nan Pomodoro technique.

She recovered that sticking to 25-minute activity segments often interrupted her flow—the emotion of being immersed successful a peculiar task—and ended up harming her productivity alternatively than enhancing it. To hole nan problem, she sought to create a strategy that retained nan beneficial aspects of nan Pomodoro Technique while allowing her to get into a affirmative travel and enactment there.

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The Basics of nan Flowtime Technique

To commencement utilizing nan Flowtime Technique, nan first point you’ll request to do is create a timesheet to thief you manage your regular activities. You tin do this pinch a spreadsheet aliases by hand, whichever you find astir convenient. At nan heading of your timesheet, see nan pursuing file headings:

  • Task Name
  • Start Time
  • End Time
  • Interruptions
  • Work Time
  • Break Time

Your timesheet will beryllium nan superior measurement you way your regular tasks and found a travel that useful champion for you. Once you person it group up, here’s really to usage it:

1. Choose a Task

To get started, take a task you wish to get done. It should beryllium specific, and thing you tin reasonably complete successful nan magnitude of clip you have. In different words, don’t take a task for illustration “paint my house.” Choose thing for illustration “paint nan beforehand doorway of my house.” If you prime a task that’s excessively broad, you’ll person trouble sticking pinch nan work. So, effort and break down what you’re doing into nan smallest manageable pieces.

2. Begin Working connected Your Task

The adjacent measurement is to commencement moving connected your task. Begin by listing nan task you’re going to activity connected successful nan due section of your timesheet. Then, database nan clip you’re starting work. Once you’ve gotten started connected your task, nan only norm you must observe is that location is nary multitasking allowed. This will thief you to attraction connected what you request to get done and minimize immoderate self-imposed distractions.

3. Work Until You Need a Break

You whitethorn past support moving connected your listed task for arsenic agelong arsenic you like. If you consciousness yourself getting fatigued aft 15 minutes, return a break. If you get into a productive groove, suffer way of nan time, and extremity up moving for an hr straight, that’s fine, too.

The thought is to get to cognize your ain patterns and activity successful segments that fresh you best. If you don’t attraction good connected definite tasks, activity connected them for shorter durations. If you get absorbed successful different types of tasks, maximize your output by moving for arsenic agelong arsenic you consciousness tin of staying focused.

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You’ll apt find that nan longest play you’ll beryllium capable to prolong is astir 90 minutes aliases so. This corresponds to your Ultradian Rhythm, which are nan alternating periods of alertness and remainder that our brains acquisition passim nan day.

There are plentifulness of lawsuit studies that show really taking regular breaks improves productivity. It’s 1 of nan reasons that mandatory breaks are a portion of nan Pomodoro Technique. But there’s grounds that nan less-structured Flowtime attack to breaks useful conscionable arsenic well. One exertion institution that precocious directed its labor to return breaks each hr arsenic they saw fresh saw productivity levels emergence by 23%—with nary instruction required.

4. Take an Appropriate-Length Break

When you determine you request to return a break, spell up and do so. Just make judge to constitute down your extremity clip connected your timesheet successful nan correct place. You tin return a break that’s arsenic agelong aliases short arsenic you like, but don’t maltreatment nan privilege. Otherwise, it won’t beryllium agelong until your breaks eat up nan mostly of your time.

As a wide norm of thumb, effort taking a five-minute break for each 25-minute activity period, and summation your break clip proportionally for longer activity periods. You should usage a timer to make judge you get backmost to your task successful nan correct magnitude of time. And erstwhile your break ends, don’t hide to grounds nan clip you’ve resumed activity and database nan magnitude of nan break you took.

5. Record Distractions arsenic They Happen

While you’re working, location are ever going to beryllium times erstwhile you’ll get distracted. It whitethorn travel successful nan shape of a telephone call, an urgent email, aliases moreover nan impulse to usage nan bathroom. When these things happen, grounds nan occurrence successful nan interruption file connected your timesheet. Do your champion to support distractions short, but don’t effort and artifact them out.

The logic is that you’re improbable to win and sometimes, nan things that distract you will beryllium a higher privilege than what you’re moving on. So, it’s important to woody pinch distractions arsenic you spot fresh alternatively of trying to simply activity done them.

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6. Repeat Until Your Work Is Complete

All you person to do adjacent is to repetition nan steps supra until nan tasks you’re moving connected are complete. As you complete each task, beryllium judge to grounds your last extremity time. If you wish, you tin cipher your full activity clip (and capable it in) erstwhile you decorativeness a task, aliases you tin do each of nan mathematics astatine erstwhile astatine nan extremity of nan day.

All that matters is that you don’t time off immoderate gaps successful your clip tracking. Your timesheets, erstwhile complete, will go an plus that improves your expertise to create a activity schedule that maximizes your regular output.

What to Do With Your Timesheets

Although nan enactment of signaling your activity periods and break times will thief you stay on-task each day, there’s different important logic you’re doing it. It’s that your timesheets will gradually statesman to uncover to you really to trade an perfect regular schedule for yourself.

So, astatine nan extremity of each week, return immoderate clip to comparison your timesheets. You whitethorn spot that definite patterns statesman to emerge. For example, you mightiness announcement that your longest activity periods typically hap earlier luncheon aliases that location are circumstantial parts of your time that thin to beryllium filled pinch distractions. You tin usage this accusation to scheme consequent days much effectively.

In general, you’ll want to cluster your astir important tasks astatine your astir productive times. So, if you are reviewing elaborate spot records, for example, you tin group speech clip to do it erstwhile you cognize you’ll beryllium capable to attraction without interruption.

Conversely, you should schedule little captious activity astatine nan times erstwhile you’re astir apt to beryllium interrupted while working. So if you request clip to respond to emails aliases return telephone calls, you’ll cognize conscionable erstwhile to do it. This will not only make you much productive but will besides destruct mistakes successful your work.

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Key Similarities Between Flowtime and Pomodoro

If you’re acquainted pinch really nan Pomodoro Technique works, you whitethorn person noticed immoderate similarities pinch nan Flowtime Technique. As we’ve discussed earlier, this is intentional. The Flowtime Technique is specifically designed to clasp 3 captious features of nan Pomodoro Technique, which are:

1. Precise Time Tracking

One of nan reasons that nan Pomodoro Technique is truthful effective for galore group is that it creates a rigid strategy to facilitate clip tracking. By having to divided your activity tasks into 25-minute segments, you go acutely alert of nan tasks you person successful beforehand of you and really you’re utilizing your time. That unsocial helps you to debar wasting precious activity clip because you person to relationship for each minute. The Flowtime Technique provides this benefit, too.

2. Eliminating Multitasking

With nan Pomodoro Technique, you person to take a task to activity connected and usage a 25-minute timer to measurement each activity period. This does an fantabulous occupation of keeping you on-task because you cognize from nan infinitesimal you group nan timer what you’re trying to accomplish, and you’re truthful not apt to stray onto different task.

Even though you don’t request to usage a timer pinch nan Flowtime Technique, nan very enactment of penning down your task accomplishes nan aforesaid task. Because you cognize you’ll beryllium search your clip spent moving connected a peculiar thing, you’ll thin to instrumentality pinch your task until it’s complete aliases clip for a break.

3. Facilitating Breaks

One of nan biggest killers of productivity is exhaustion, and there’s plentifulness of information to beryllium that taking breaks is basal to maintaining highest activity performance. That’s nan existent concealed to nan Pomodoro Technique’s successful reputation—it makes breaks mandatory and unavoidable.

The Flowtime Technique, by comparison, besides insists you return breaks. It conscionable doesn’t unit them upon you until you’re fresh to return one. In that way, immoderate further self-discipline is required to win utilizing nan Flowtime Technique. But if you tin obey a timer, there’s nary logic you can’t study to obey nan signals your assemblage sends you erstwhile it needs a clip out.

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Final Thoughts

At nan extremity of nan day, you whitethorn find occurrence utilizing nan Pomodoro Technique. There’s a logic it’s truthful popular, aft all. But if you’ve been utilizing it for immoderate clip and find yourself straining against its rigid structures, you’re not alone. So, see giving nan Flowtime Technique a effort for astatine slightest a week aliases two. You whitethorn find it’s a overmuch amended fresh for your activity style and that you get moreover much done than you ever person before.

Featured photograph credit: Fakurian Design via

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