Productivity techniques, such as the the Pomodoro method, have long said that bursts of work and relaxation are the best way to do your job. But what's the ideal time of those bursts? The Daily Muse reckons it's 52 minutes of work followed by a 17-minute break.
Picture: Highways Agency/Flickr
Analysing the time-tracking app DeskTime showed that the most productive 10 per cent of users take these strategic breaks after working intently for a while. However, the blog hasn't released data on the size and sample of their study. Here's what they found:
The reason the most productive 10% of our users are able to get the most done during the comparatively short periods of working time is that their working times are treated as sprints. They make the most of those 52 minutes by working with intense purpose, but then rest up to be ready for the next burst.
During the 52 minutes of work, you're dedicated to accomplishing tasks, getting things done, and making progress. Whereas, during the 17 minutes of break, you're completely removed from the work you're doing — you're entirely resting, not peeking at your email every five minutes or just "quickly checking Facebook."
The Daily Muse emphasises on getting out of your computer chair and doing something else during your break. The Pomodoro technique works on a similar idea of 25 minutes of work and five minutes of break, but you might want to consider upping those numbers to these new findings. If you need an app to keep track of this, use Marinara Timer to set alternating intervals of 52 and 17 minutes.
The Rule of 52 and 17: It's Random, But it Ups Your Productivity [The Daily Muse]