The other day while I was at work, I started noticing that every now and then, my buddy Tim who sits next to me was occasionally on Facebook, YouTube, and other websites not doing work.
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Obviously, nothing strange with this, but as analytic as I was, I simply observed.
I managed to pick up quite a few patterns, and what I noticed was that this was happening every hour and fifty (12:50, 1:50, 2:50, etc.), religiously.
And then after ten minutes, he would go back to doing work.
Perplexed, I asked him what the heck he was doing.
Apparently, he had learnt a neat productivity tip from a guy named Eben Pagan, where for every 50 minutes spent doing work, you would take 10 minutes doing absolutely nothing – and this was how you could keep your productivity level high.
I had a ’eureka!’ moment.
It made so much sense.
After all, productivity is not a measure of how much you can get done.
It’s a measure of how much you can continue to keep doing over a long period of time.
Every now and then, we need to take rests to keep away from burnout, but perhaps this can be applied to smaller scales as well.
When we keep working for 8-9 hours in a day straight (aside from lunch, of course), things can get a slow.
You and I both know that towards the end of the day, at around 4pm, most of us have already slowed down significantly on our ability to produce quality work.
We start to procrastinate, and wander off to other websites when we could be finishing up that report.
The 50/10 rule is great in that it keeps you productive when you need to be productive, while also allowing you some time to slack off, or do whatever it is you want.
For a whole fifty minutes in an hour, put your phone on do not disturb and remove things that you do not need from sight.
It will significantly help (Out of sight, out of mind, right?) But of course, when the fifty minutes are up, go bombarding every website that you want – but only for ten short minutes.
This way, even at the end of the day, you still fulfil the things you need to get done, but at the same time you are also able to indulge yourself in some late afternoon reading, if you would like.
I personally love chatting up the secretary every now and then – and the fact I only stay for ten minutes at a time probably makes me that much more desirable. 😉
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