The Rule of 52 and 17: It's Random, But it Ups Your Productivity
Rich Hua stashed this in Productivity
Turns out, what the most productive 10% of our users have in common is their ability to take effective breaks:
Specifically, the most productive people work for 52 minutes at a time, then break for 17 minutes before getting back to it (similar to the Pomodoro Method—more on that here).
The employees with the highest productivity ratings, in fact, don't even work eight-hour days. Turns out, the secret to retaining the highest level of productivity over the span of a workday is not working longer—but working smarter with frequent breaks.
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. In other words, they work with purpose.
Working with purpose can also be called the 100% dedication theory—the notion that whatever you do, you do it full-on. Therefore, 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.”