You may have heard of the term life hack or life hacking. It basically refers to “any trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method that increases productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life”.

Personally, I’ve performed many life hacks over the years. Some have been very successful, other moderately so and some downright failures. I do like experimenting in this space so I am frequently trying new things.

One recent hack is around management of my time. I’m all over the map in this space and am constantly looking for better ways to optimise my time. About a year ago I read about someone who uses Pomodoro Method.

The concept is simple. You break your time down in blocks. You work for a defined period of time and then you take a break. The defined working period and breaks are user defined. For instance, I set 20 minute work periods followed by a 5-minute break. You can customise even more and say that after five twenty minute work periods you break will be 20 minutes.

The whole idea here is to focus on a task for the defined period and then take a break. You can get up and stretch if you’re sitting. Go for a walk or whatever you want. But the idea is for the 20 minutes it’s pure work. You can also set a goal of how many work periods you want to accomplish in one day.

There are many apps out there that will help you do this. I am using this particular one. It’s cheap and sync’s across multiple devices. It is customizable, but not so much that it is overwhelming.

I just started this hack yesterday so I don’t have too many data points yet. First impressions though are good. I love the “head’s down” get stuff done followed by a quick break. It’s a small thing that seems to help me focus. I am using it a work, but will also extend that to outside of work.

While it is early it shows a lot of promise. I’ll check back in a month or two to see how things are going.