Master the 52/17 Rule

Everyone knows that one person that never seems to stress; however, they are able to get more accomplished than everyone else in the office.  Wouldn’t you like to be like that person?  We may be able to help you out!  Read below to find the one secret that has been implemented by some to improve on their productivity.

DeskTime is a productivity app that has been used to study the habits of many productive people, mostly employees.  The app helps pinpoint the processes that are the most productive for people.  According to the data from DeskTime, the most productive users all had one thing in common: they were effective at taking adequate breaks.  More specifically, the most productive people work for an average of 52 minutes then break for 17 minutes.

Compare the 52/17 rule to HITs (high interval trainings).  People who practice this ethic work intensely for 52 minutes then rests up for the next burst.  In order for this to be effective, during those 52 minutes, one must be dedicated 100%.  You must be dedicated to knocking things off of your to-do list and making progress.  You are zoned in.  During the 17-minute break, you must detach yourself from your work and not peek at your email every two minutes.

The most important part of the 52/17 rule is to make the most out of your breaks in order to get the most out of your sprints.  As hard as it may be, you have to break yourself away from your electronic devices.  Do some exercises, take a quick walk around, or do other activities to get your body moving.  Spark up a conversation with your co-workers, as long as it isn’t about work.  Grab a healthy snack to refuel.  There are many ways that you can enjoy your break without working through it.

Did you know that working for long periods of time can be detrimental to your engagement with tasks?  You will become bored, which will more likely decrease your level of focus on your task at hand.  Add that to the fact that studies show that breaking the sedentary cycle by taking breaks not only improves your productivity, but it is healthier for you.

Try telling your boss this: the most productive people don’t even work eight-hour days!  It is no longer about working longer but working smarter.  You may not get much of a response but hey, it’s worth a try!

It’s not possible to be productive 100% of the day – if you try, you will burn yourself out and that would be even more of a setback for you.  Make the commitment to take frequent breaks and see if that helps with your productivity.  If 17 minutes is too long, try a five or 10-minute break every hour.  You may surprise yourself!

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