The Flowtime technique: what it is and how it works when applied at work

The Flowtime technique is a method of performing tasks that uses work intervals and rest periods as a reward to maximize subjects’ productivity.

The innovator of this technique is that it allows a greater adaptation to the characteristics of the subject, to the type of task, as well as to different variables that can influence its execution and its state of concentration. That way, that greater flexibility will work best with tasks that require more creativity, more time to focus, or are of more interest to the subject.

In order to properly apply this work strategy, we need to record the work period, the breaks we take or the distractions we have, because with this greater control we can also know which plan benefits each person the most, which one we adapt the best. his lifestyle, his personality and one can enjoy the period of maximum concentration and production flow of the subject.

In this article we will see what is the Flowtime technique, which will allow you to be more productive and make better use of your working time, indicating how you should apply it, as well as the main differences that it shows with another well-known method, the Pomodoro technique.

    What is the Flowtime technique

    The Flowtime technique is a method of study or work to be as productive as possible. In this way, we set a working time and a rest period always suited to the lifestyle, personality and type of work or study that the individual is doing.

    So, to do this technique, we have to choose a specific task that we want to perform, record the start time and start working, stop and take a break when we notice that it is necessary and note the time, define what rest time will take it from us and repeat the cycle until we manage to complete the established task.

    This method, as already mentioned, will take into account the different individual variables of the subject and the task it needs to perform, and is also more adaptable with regard to schedules, working time and breaks. The main focus will be on which procedure or method works best for each subject in order to be as productive as possible, without cutting or limiting their work and giving them the time they need to both complete the task and in order to relax.

    If we look at the terms that make up the name of the technique, it also gives us more information about its consistency. It is composed of the English word “time” which means time, because this method requires to track and record the working and rest time and the word “flow”, this concept is defined as a state in which the subject is completely Focused on the task, he has a feeling of control and loses his time orientation, time flies faster and his self-awareness is diminished because he is 100% focused on the work he is doing.

    Understanding the concept of “flow” will be very important to take advantage of this state of maximum focus and productivity and not cut or interrupt it because we may not be able to get it back again after a break.

      How to apply it at work?

      Taking into account the description made of the technique, the way of applying it will be quite flexible and adaptable to the needs of each individual. So, as a first step, we will select the task we want to perform (it is essential to have clear objectives). Getting started with the method can help you start with simpler tasksbecause when you have it more under control, work with more complex and time-consuming tasks.

      Once the task is defined, we will start the work period by noting the start time. It will be essential that we keep a log and note all the breaks or breaks we take and the time worked.. This organization of time will depend on each person, their feelings, their state of fatigue and concentration, so there will be no fixed schedule or timer to mark our breaks, but the indicator will be our concentration and our ability if we keep working it is neither useful nor productive to continue the task if we feel tired and our attention is not there, it will be better to stop and then continue with more energy and desire .

      Thus, it will not be necessary to set a rigid schedule, nor to follow a working time established by others, but it will depend on yourself. The proposed interval is very flexible and covers 10 to 90 minutes, depending on the characteristics of each subject and the type of task they perform. We can also continue to work even if the time exceeds the 90 minute interval, setting an alarm after 15 minutes.

        The breaks

        As for the break, this one it will be proportional to the time worked, assuming 10 to 50% of it, and also taking into account the state you are in and whether you feel ready to start the task over again with your newfound concentration and with all your abilities. If you find that you can’t do anything more and are unable to be productive, it is better to quit your job and take a long rest.

        Likewise, we have to keep in mind that there are different variables that can affect: the type of task (it is not the same thing to draw a diagram as to read a topic), if we have any the day to do the task or we have to do other activities, or if we are given better or worse the work we do.

          Take notes to better organize yourself at work

          When recording working and rest time, it is recommended to also note the interruptions that we have hadwhether by other people, by a call, by a message or by stimuli from our environment that may have distracted our attention.

          For example, you can work for about 25 minutes and take a 5-minute break; do homework for 25 to 50 minutes and rest for 8 minutes; work for 50 to 90 minute intervals for a 10 minute break, or if you can stay focused on the task for 90 minutes, take a 15 minute break.

            Differences between the Flowtime technique and the Pomodoro

            The Pomodoro technique is also a method used to study and work by controlling the time we invest in the task and the time we rest. It has similar characteristics to the Flowtime method, such as defining and setting a goal on which we will focus our work; in addition, multitasking is not performed, time organization is proposed and breaks are authorized.

            But unlike the Flowtime technique, the Pomodoro is much more rigid marking time in a much more concrete way and adapting less to the characteristics or personality of each subject or type of work.

            The period in the Pomodoro method is to work for 25 minutes and rest for 5 minutes; so, when you have done 4 blocks in a row, you can rest for 15-20 minutes. But this working time or interval does not work for all jobs or for all individuals; we can be focused and the alarm bells ringing, distracting us and cutting off our work, causing us to lose momentum or into more creative tasks where it takes longer to start being productive in 25 minutes.

            The Pomodoro technique is not a bad work strategy, although it will focus more on more repetitive tasks.This is where we need to focus or do tasks that we don’t like, as having short intervals and rest time as a reward can motivate us and help us stay focused. But when more flexibility is needed or more creativity is required, it will make more sense to use the Flowtime technique if we want to be more productive and allow the flow state time to emerge.

            On the other hand, the Flowtime method not only allows us to adapt the working time to our capacities, but also facilitates the differentiation of the intervals. We know that our concentration is not the same in the morning as at night, and that there are individuals who work better in the early hours of the day or others who are more nocturnal and work better later. Therefore, the Flowtime strategy it will allow longer periods and shorter periods with more or less extended rest intervals depending on the time of day or the condition of the subject..

            So we see how the Pomodoro method lifts an external control, that is, there is a timer and a preset time that will mark when we have to stop and when to return to work; on the contrary, the Flowtime technique presents an internal control, while waiting for more of the physiological or cognitive state of the subject, he himself will be the one who will decide when to stop, when his mind will no longer be able.

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