There are two types of workers in the world. Those who are like marathon runners, working slow and steady for hours at a time, and sprinters, who alternate high-intensity work with frequent rest.
From what I’ve seen, one of the keys to optimal productivity is to keep a high level of focus while staying mentally fresh throughout the day. The best way to do this is by alternating bursts of highly focused work with regular breaks to unplug and rejuvenate. This can be set up in chunks of 25 minutes of work / 5 minutes of rest, or 50 minutes of work / 10 minutes of rest.
By working this way, you’ll work faster, get more done throughout the day, and still have energy left over to exercise, cook a healthy dinner, and spend quality time with loved ones at night.
Or, go old school and put on an hour-long music mix and work until the music stops.
Phil Drolet is a performance coach in Boulder, Colorado.