How to Use the Flowtime Technique to Boost Your Productivity

By Toni Buffa | Published May 14, 2024

There are no shortages of productivity methods. At Integrify, we advocate for helping people be their most productive selves and finding the best method. We've written many articles about different techniques: for example, there's the Pomodoro technique, calendar blocking, task batching, creating an Eisenhower Matrix, and now the flowtime technique.

This article will cover the flowtime technique, its benefits, and a step-by-step guide for implementing it in your daily life. So, let's dive in!

What is the Flowtime Technique?

The flowtime technique is a time management technique for anyone working on a task that requires deep concentration. It's similar to the Pomodoro technique but encourages you to work as long or as little as possible while staying focused. On the other hand, the Pomodoro technique has a set interval of time for working and breaks: 25 minutes of work, then 5 minutes of a break, and repeat. 

Note: The Pomodoro technique can be great for noncreative tasks like doing laundry, sending emails, organizing folders, or anything else that, honestly, you don't want to do but need the motivation to do it.

Regarding "heads-down" creative work, the flowtime technique may become your best friend. You work on time and incorporate breaks without cutting into your productivity flow. Here's how it looks.

Flowtime Technique Example

Say you are prepping for a big presentation at work and must fill a 45-minute time slot. (This must be an important meeting!) You need to focus and practice for this, so start your timer and begin the mock presentation. For the flowtime technique, you don't want to get out of your groove at 25 minutes; you most likely will want to practice the entire 45-minute presentation and then take a break. That's the difference between the two: Pomodoro, you'd take the break at 25 minutes, reset, then start again. With the flowtime, you work until you need a break or are done with the task, and then take the break time allocated. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Implementing the Flowtime Technique

  1. Preparation
    • Set up your work environment.
    • Gather necessary materials and tools.
  2. Task Selection
    • Prioritize tasks based on importance and deadlines.
    • Break down larger tasks into manageable chunks.
    • Do not multitask: only choose one task at a time. 
  3. Time Tracking
    • Use a timer or app to track work periods.
    • Record start and end times for each session.
    • Also, note how long you were interrupted and by what (for example, you received a text message and spent 10 minutes on your phone afterward). This way, you can reflect on what distracted you and take steps to avoid it in the future. 
  4. Work Periods
    • Focus solely on the task during work periods.
  5. Breaks
    • Take breaks when you feel your focus waning.
    • Engage in activities that help you recharge (e.g., stretching, walking).

Clockify suggests these rest time lengths:

  • For under 25 minutes of work, go on a five-minute break.
  • After 25-50 minutes of work, get an eight-minute pause.
  • When you complete 50-90 minutes of work, you can have a 10-minute rest.
  • More than 90 minutes of work can be followed by 15-20 minutes of break time.
  1. Review, Adjust, and Repeat
    • Reflect on your productivity at the end of the day.
    • Adjust your work periods and breaks based on your observations.

Getting the Most Out of Flowtime Technique

The flowtime technique is unique because it doesn't have a specific limit on how long you need to stay productive. For some people, this could be the missing piece to their productivity puzzle, and for others, the Pomodoro technique is still the method of choice. 

Remember, the key to any productivity technique is consistency and self-awareness. Reflect on what works best for you, make necessary adjustments, and stay committed to your productivity goals. Whether you find Flowtime your perfect match or prefer another method, the ultimate objective is to enhance your efficiency and well-being.

So, why not try the Flowtime Technique? Start small, experiment with your work and break intervals, and observe the impact on your productivity. You might discover that this adaptable technique is just what you need to unlock your full potential and achieve your goals more effectively.

Productivity Tips  

Toni Buffa

Toni is a member of the Integrify marketing team and writes for the Integrify blog. Toni lives in Colorado and loves animals of all stripes.