Enhancing productivity with the 50/10 method

We have all had that feeling of regret where we wished we had just been more productive with our days or weeks. I know I sure have had many of those, and if you have clicked on this article you might have just had one of those days!

If you are looking to become a more productive person, whether you are a student or working behind a desk, this is worth a read.

So what is the 50/10 method and why is it so useful?

The 50/10 method itself is very simple and self-explanatory. You work for 50 minutes, and you take a 10 minute break. This method was designed based on data analysis showing that on average, people can work undistracted for a little less than 1 hour at a time.

Giving ourselves a break every 50 minutes essentially gives our brain some breathing space, so that it can redirect its focus once again.

I can personally vouch for its effectiveness. I stumbled across this method when I was in my 2nd bachelor year in university, and the results were nothing short of life changing. I have this method to thank for a lot of my academic success and still use it to this day!

Common mistakes made

Despite it being so easy, I see a lot of people making one crucial mistake that really hampers the effectiveness of this method. The mistake is that they do not utilize the break effectively.

The main purpose of this break is to give your brain some peace and quite. This does not mean scrolling through social media or being on your phone for 10 minutes, as this still requires the brain to work. So even though you are not working, you are not resting either.

When you take your break, make sure you are doing an activity in which your brain does not have to work!

The main things I like to do:

  • Put on some music, and get lost in my own thoughts
  • Journal
  • Going for a walk outside
  • Meditating
  • Reading a book
  • Socializing with friends (preferably not on my phone as it becomes a huge distraction)

Make sure you set a 10 minute timer so you don’t lose track of time!

Make this a habit

If you want to succeed with the 50/10 method, it is very important that you make a habit out of this. That means before you start working, you remind yourself that you are going to use this method.

I have struggled with this myself a lot in the past. I took too long breaks, or went days without using this method. It is no wonder that my productivity was all over the place.

I have found that working with timers really cement this method into my mind. Whenever I start working, I am already setting a timer for 50 minutes without even realizing it. I really suggest working with timers!

Just remember, it is okay if you struggle with this method or forget to use it. Just get back on track once you realize you realize you left it!

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