Hi friend and happy Friday! If you’re in a part of the world that’s bitter cold and snow-covered like me, I hope you’re staying warm.
Even though the weather is keeping me closer to my desk, I still fight the daily battle of staying focused and managing my time effectively.
My go-to hack for buckling down and getting into the flow is the pomodoro technique. (There is only a loose connection to tomatoes, it turns out.) Here’s a primer on it if you’ve never tried it or need a refresher. For me, I end up sticking to the 25/5 format for 3-4 hours when I need to do bureaucratic stuff like invoices or email triaging. For focused work like programming and design, I find I don’t need the breaks after a couple of sessions: it’s just a way to kick-off the flow.
The pomodoro technique’s hallmark are the free-for-all 5 minute breaks, where you are supposed to remain purposefully distracted. However, I’ve found that the quality of the breaks matter. Giving in to the urge to scroll social feeds is not always the healthiest way to rest between focused work, as this article on taking better breaks explains.
Speaking of breaks, here’s an article about sand to get you through the next one. Yes, sand: the key ingredient in transistors and semiconductors. As the title implies, transistors have arguably changed humanity like no other invention. It’s an engaging read about the backbone of modern living.
Have a great weekend, Henry