Earlier this summer, The Wealthy Freelancer introduced me to the idea of a 50 minute focus, which is a great way to learn how to improve concentration for better productivity. It’s a simple concept: spend 50 minutes intensively focused on one task, then you give yourself a 20 break and move onto the next item.
I tried it, and while it’s harder than I anticipated, it really does work. I spent 50 minutes focused on writing blog posts for a client, a task that could have stretched through most of the morning if I’d let myself check email or Facebook or send a few tweets in between blog posts. This way I got three short, yet meaty posts written in 50 minutes so I could move on to the next item.
I set the oven timer so I didn’t even waste time checking the clock, because I knew the time would alert me when 50 minutes had elapsed. Blogging is tricky, because you can’t disable your internet, and I briefly got distracted by another link on one of the web pages where I was doing research. Instead of letting that link lead me on a tangent to the Land of Procrastination, I forced myself to close the tab and refocus for the rest of the 50 minutes, which passed more quickly than at the beginning.
At first I was skeptical about how much I could accomplish in just 50 minutes, but without bouncing between browser windows and other distractions, I managed to produce quite a bit of copy.
Have you tried a 50 minute focus? What other tricks for improving concentration work when you really need results?
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