Have you heard of the app 30/30? It’s a time management app that will arrange sequences of timed tasks, helping you transition from one to the next in a way that preserves focus and helps build routine.
I heard about 30/30 from a psychologist who helps people with ADHD. I don’t have attention issues, but I love someone who does, so we both downloaded the app last month and tested it for ourselves.
Taking a Break is Awesome
We’re still feeling the effects of the post-WWII attitude that more work for longer periods makes a productive, strong society. The human mind isn’t meant to focus on one thing for 12 hours straight, especially if that task is repetitive in any way.
I use 30/30 to build 5- and 10-minute breaks into my day. I find when I get up from my desk, move around, accomplish a small chore, etc., I don’t burn out as fast as I would without breaks.
The Finish Line is a Powerful Motivator
I set my writing time in 30-minute blocks. 30/30 has an option to pause a timer or to add increments of 5 minutes, but mostly I stick to half-hour chunks.
These blocks of time have been great for my productivity. The first day I used it, I wrote 2200 words — my output for the previous week without 30/30 — and didn’t feel drained by the process.
That’s because when you know you only have 30 minutes to do something, you:
- Buckle down and do it with no distractions.
- Know you don’t have much further to go when writing does not go well.
The Calendar is Flexible
I’ve tried setting up sequences of activities using iCal before, but that never really worked. For one, scheduling apps like iCal are inflexible. If you start 10 minutes late, or a task takes 20 minutes longer than planned, all the subsequent items on your schedule will be out of whack.
30/30 shifts the schedule according to the user’s activity. If you need more time to complete a task, just hit the +5 minutes button. If you realize you’re not ready to start a task yet, drop it to the end of the list with a single tap. You can pause the timer altogether if you encounter an unexpected interruption. 30/30 is awesome at working with you.
You Don’t have to Plan Your Whole Day
I set my 30/30 lineup in 4-hour blocks. I find that my second 4-hour work period is more productive if I let myself take a longer break between periods, rather than try to work for 8 hours straight.
Some days I don’t schedule a second work period at all. I leave the rest of the day open to explore any ideas, problems, or questions that have arisen during the first 4-hours of work.
*Not an affiliate. I just love this app.