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Understanding flowtime techniques

There are several productivity strategies available today that guarantees to increase your level of productivity. Few of them are more popular and often utilized than the Pomodoro Technique. It’s a method of time management that advises you to divide your workday into 25-minute intervals, with pauses in between.

The basic premise is that most people start to lose attention after 25 minutes of nonstop work and need a rest in order to continue being productive. That notion, however, has a flaw: no two tasks are the same. In fact, no two persons are alike either! Therefore, a productivity system that is designed to fit all users cannot possibly be the best option for everyone.

flowtime techniques

In this article, the answers to the following questions will be discussed:

  • What Is the Flowtime Technique?
  • what are the Fundamentals of the Flowtime Technique?
  • What to Do with a Timesheets?
  • Similarities Between Flowtime and Pomodoro

 

Read more: How to focus completely to increase productivity

What Is the Flowtime Technique?

The Flowtime Technique has been around for quite some time, though it is less known than the Pomodoro Technique. It’s essentially a Pomodoro offshoot in many aspects. It was created by Zoe Read-Bivens as a way to address some of the drawbacks she noticed when using the Pomodoro technique.

She discovered that limiting herself to 25-minute work sessions frequently caused her to lose her flow—the sensation of being totally absorbed in a task—and actually decreased rather than increased her output. She worked to develop a strategy that would allow her to enter and maintain a positive flow while retaining the advantages of the Pomodoro Technique in order to solve the issue.

What are The Fundamentals of the Flowtime Technique?

You must first establish a timesheet to assist you to manage your daily activities before you began to use the Flowtime Technique. You can complete this manually or with a spreadsheet, whichever is more comfortable for you. Include the following column headings at the top of your timesheet:

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

Your timesheet will serve as your main tool for keeping track of your daily obligations and creating an efficient workflow. Here’s how to use it after you’ve set it up:

  • Select a Task
  • Begin to Work on Your Task
  • Keep working until you need a break
  • Rest for a suitable period of time
  • Keep records of distractions as they occur
  • Repeat until you have finished all of your work

 

Read more: Easy Ways to Refocus a Wandering Mind

Select a Task

Select a task you want to complete to get going. It must be precise and something you can reasonably finish in the time given. To put it another way, avoid picking a task like “paint my shop.” Pick a task like “paint my shop’s front door.” You’ll have trouble completing the assignment if you choose a task that is too broad. Therefore, attempt to divide your work into the smallest feasible bits.

Begin to Work on Your Task

Start working on your assignment as the next one. Put the task you’re going to work on in the relevant field of your timesheet to start. Then, include the time when you will start to work. The sole guideline you must follow once you’ve begun working on your task is that multitasking is not permitted. This will enable you to maintain your attention on what has to be done and reduce any artificial distractions.

Keep working until you need a break

After that, you are free to continue working on the given assignment as long as you desire. After 15 minutes, take a break if you begin to feel exhausted. It’s okay if you get into a productive flow, lose track of time, and eventually end up working for an hour nonstop.

Knowing your specific patterns will let you work in segments that are most effective for you. Work on various things for shorter periods of time if you have trouble focusing. If you find yourself distracted by other duties, work as long as you feel able to maintain concentration to get the most done. You’ll probably discover that the longest time you can endure is roughly 90 minutes. This is consistent with your ultradian rhythm, which is the daily alternation of alertness and sleep experienced by our brains.

Read more: 5 ways of staying focused while working from home with children

Rest for a suitable period of time

When you decide that a break is required, take it. Just be certain to record your stop time on your timesheet in the appropriate location. You are free to take a break for just as long or brief as you consider appropriate, but don’t abuse the option. If not, your breaks will quickly consume the majority of your time.

Try taking a five-minute break for every 25 minutes of work as a general rule of thumb. For longer work sessions, lengthen your break time proportionately. To make sure you return to your task in the appropriate length of time, set a timer. When your break is over, don’t forget to note the time you started working again and the duration of your break.

Keep records of distractions as they occur

There will definitely be times that you will get distracted while working. It could appear as an urgent email, a phone call, or even the need to visit the restroom. When these events take place, note them in the interruption column of your timesheet. Don’t try to filter out distractions; instead, do your best to keep them brief.

The reason is that your chances of success are low, and sometimes the things that divert your attention are more important than the task at hand. Therefore, it’s crucial to deal with distractions as you see fit rather than attempting to ignore them.

Read more: Noise-Cancelling Headphones for Increasing Productivity

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Repeat until you have finished all of your work

Repeating the previous procedures will be all that is required for the tasks you are working on to be finished. Make sure to note your ultimate stop time as you finish each activity. You can estimate your total work time (and fill it in) as you do each activity, or you can complete the calculations all at once at the end of the day.

The most important thing is to keep your time tracking accurate and without gaps. Once you’ve finished them, your timesheets will be a resource that will help you design a work schedule that will maximize your daily output.

What to Do with Your Timesheets?

Even if writing down your work hours and break times helps keep you on task every day, there’s still another significant reason you should be doing it. Your timesheets will progressively start to show you how to create a perfect daily routine for yourself.

Take some time to compare your timesheets at the conclusion of each week. You could notice that certain patterns start to appear. You may observe, for instance, that you work the longest stretches of time before lunch or that you experience the most distractions at certain times of the day. You can make better plans for the days after using this information.

Generally speaking, you should schedule your most crucial work during your busiest hours. As a result, you can schedule a time to analyze thorough data and information, for example, when you know you’ll be able to concentrate without distractions.

Read more: Is It good to multitask and can you get used to it

 Similarities Between Flowtime and Pomodoro

There are certain similarities between the Flowtime Technique and the Pomodoro Technique that you may have noticed. As we’ve already explained, this is deliberate. Three crucial elements of the Pomodoro Technique are retained by the Flowtime Technique mainly because they are:

  • Precise Time Tracking
  • Eliminating Multitasking
  • Facilitating Break

 

Accurate Time Tracking

The fact that the Pomodoro Technique establishes a rigorous system to aid time monitoring is one of the reasons it is so beneficial for several individuals. You become acutely aware of the duties you have in front of you and how you are using your time when you are forced to divide your work tasks into 25-minute parts. Due to the necessity of keeping track of every minute, this alone helps you prevent squandering valuable work time. This advantage is also provided by the Flowtime Technique.

Eliminating Multitasking

The Pomodoro Technique requires you to select a task to work on and clock every work shift for 25 minutes. This is a great way to stay focused because you know exactly what you need to get done from the instant the timer is set, making it less likely that you will veer off task.

The Flowtime Technique does not require the use of a timer, but the act of writing down your assignment achieves the same result. You’ll likely continue working on a task until it’s finished or it’s time for a break because you know you’ll be keeping track of the time spent on it.

Read more: How to be a pro at Timeboxing for Greater Productivity

Facilitating Breaks

Exhaustion is one of the top dangers of productivity, and there is clear evidence that breaks are necessary to sustain optimal work performance. Because it makes breaks required and inescapable, the Pomodoro Technique is the real key to its well-deserved reputation for success.

In contrast, the Flowtime Technique also mandates that you take breaks. It only waits till you’re prepared to take one before forcing them onto you. In this way, adopting the Flowtime Technique successfully necessitates some extra self-discipline. But there’s no reason you can’t learn to obey the signals your body sends you when it needs a time out if you can learn to obey a timer.

Read more: Common ways you can use to increase concentration

In summary

The underlying idea is that after 25 minutes of continuous work, most people start to lose focus and need rest in order to continue working effectively. That is all for this article, where the answers to the following questions are being discussed:

  • What Is the Flowtime Technique?
  • The Fundamentals of the Flowtime Technique
  • What to Do with a Timesheets
  • Similarities Between Flowtime and Pomodoro

I hope you learn a lot from the reading, if so, kindly share with others. Thanks for reading, see you around!