Sometimes trying to be more productive makes you less productive. You get stuck in the content dungeon, trying to memorize/implement all the new laws and techniques out there. You watch videos about how to get the work done, instead of doing the work; you time-block the entire week when you are uncertain of tomorrow.
You become a productivity guru without actually being productive.
I think that being productive should not be work in itself and hard to keep track of. You try too hard to be productive and end up doing nothing.
In this article, I will talk to you about a Spotify podcast (it’s more of a music playlist) that will take care of all your productivity problems. Yes, I am talking about a music app and suggesting it for productivity! I know it sounds absurd but hear me out.
I am not sponsored by Spotify, the artist, or anyone to create this post.
If you care little about the research behind the thing and technical details, check out **Flow State on Spotify**, hosted by Bobby Lyte — a DJ and producer. It consists of minimal, instrumental, electronic music. Below is a breakdown of why I like this podcast/playlist and the research behind the techniques used in the podcast.
The **Pomodoro Technique** is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks — definition from Wikipedia.
Out of all the productivity techniques out there, the Pomodoro technique is probably the easiest to implement and has significant results. Chris Winfield, a writer, and entrepreneur could get 40 hours of work done in 16.7 hours using this technique.
Let’s see why the 25-minute sessions of Pomodoro are important.
Distractions — *According to psychologists Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert of Harvard University, people spend 46.9 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing.* Thoughts are one thing but nowadays we are surrounded by all sorts of visual and auditory cues which distract us from what really matters.
Boredom — According to research by Madelon L. M. and Edwin A. J, employees with high work centrality are prone to experience diminished well-being as a consequence of boredom, whereas fulfilling one’s basic psychological needs on a daily basis after work mitigates these negative effects.
Physical health — [*Three different studies](cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/146518..) have shown that excessive time spent sitting at work may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and all‐cause mortality.* Also, we all know that sitting for long can cause back and neck problems.
The 25-minute sessions seize your attention and knowing that you will get a break afterward, motivates you to stay focused.
You can use the 5-minute breaks between sessions in several ways depending on your situation.
Figuring out what to do — *According to a McKinsey Survey, on average, respondents spent 37 percent of their time making decisions, and more than half of this time was thought to be spent ineffectively*. A lot of times while working, we get stuck between to-do lists and take the mental toll of tasks we haven’t even begun.
Exercise — If you are feeling tired of work or can hear your bones pop, then a little stretching is probably the best way to spend the break time.
Reward — You can give yourself a reward such as a desert, or use Twitter or YouTube during the break — I would not recommend this because you may postpone your next session. Any form of reward will keep you motivated.
The Pomodoro technique is the most common productivity technique out there because it works. The problem is the distraction caused by these Pomodoro timers which are usually on our phones, and once you touch your phone, your brain is simply hijacked by world-class marketers through notifications or our own temptation to check your feed. ‘This will only take a few seconds’ turns into minutes or hours.
Flow State has a built-in Pomodoro timer. It consists of two 30 minute playlists of music followed by 5-minute breaks to allow you to plan your next session, reflect on your work, or do some stretching.
This is great because you won’t have to worry about the next song, set timers, and you can let go of all your tracking apps, timers, and music playlists. You just need to start the podcast and all the above is taken care of.
The 5-minute break is a binaural sound wave to help you maintain focus. As mentioned earlier, during this break-time you can do several things to ease your mind, but I would recommend you to reflect on your work or plan for the next session. If you are tired, take a longer break.
As for the effectiveness of binaural beats, here’s what I could find-
According to the research by L.S. Colzato, high-frequency binaural beats did have a significant impact on the global precedence effect: the precedence effect became smaller, suggesting that visual attention became more focused than in the control condition.
Global precedence effect means the global aspects of a scene or object in question are processed before the local aspects. If global precedence becomes small, it means the focus has increased.