50 minutes has changed my life. The concept of working in a focused manner for 50 minutes and then taking a 10 minute break has revolutionized the way I work. I find that I am much more productive when I work in this manner. Instead of multi-tasking mania, this focused approach has led to single-tasking nirvana.
I currently use this approach at home at least once per day in the morning for writing or designing. At work, I have successfully taken this approach by closing my office door to distractions and working straight through for 50 minutes. This strategy works well but the reality of modern business life is that I need to be open and accessible most of the day.
Unfortunately in my workplace distractions abound, with e-mail constantly annoying, the phone ringing, and a myriad of people walking by my office all hours of the day. I wondered to myself what would happen if the workplace was changed to reflect a 50 minute mindset.
Imagine what would happen if…
- Knowledge workers work from the beginning of an hour until the 50 minute mark.
- E-mail is restricted to receive only
- Non essential phone calls are restricted to emergency only
- Workers are highly encouraged to stay at their desks for the 50 minute period.
At the end of 50 minutes everyone takes a 10 minute break to…
- Go to the restroom or breakroom if needed
- Open and dispatch E-Mail
- Answer phone calls
This scenario could be repeated multiple times throughout the day.
Would something like this work?
Would workers enjoy this or find it too restrictive?
Could it be done at least once per day for a productivity hour?
Obviously this would not work for certain office situations but for the right group I think it might be highly effective.
These are questions that I think would be fun to explore. I find the focused approach helps me get so much more done that I think it would be a major improvement in many offices. Just taking away the constant distraction of e-mail and phone calls would be a major improvement to most people.
I would like to hear your comments about this scenario. Have you ever tried something like this in your workplace?
Some of our other 50 minute posts…
- The 50 Minute Zone
- Daily 50 Minutes
- 50 Minutes to Perfection
- 50 Minute Goals
- Draw 50: The Productivity Game