Flowtime Technique: An Alternative to the Pomodoro Method

Jenny Au 
Published on
December 18, 2022

Have you ever felt that the popular studying technique Pomodoro does not fit your work style? Many students may feel that the Pomodoro technique is too structured, dwindling their focus on one task and thus limiting their productivity potential. Therefore, the Pomodoro technique cannot appease the needs of all students with various learning and working styles.

The Flowtime technique is a time management technique that helps you maximize your productivity by remaining in a creative, focused state of your mind. By encouraging you to be in a “flow state”– a period of time where you are fully immersed in a task – you stay in a concentrated state that inherently limits you from falling into distractions. It is essentially a twist on the Pomodoro Technique; rather than working for strict time intervals, you customize your own intervals and breaks according to the length of your focus periods. It also encourages you to study for longer periods of time as you continue the technique. You will feel less inclined to reach for your phone and open social media whenever you feel unengaged in your work. 

The Pomodoro technique not only limits your productivity by interrupting your flow state, but also forces you to take mandatory breaks that may not replenish your focus. Not every student can be productive within this rigid mold.

How to use Flowtime 

1. Choose a specific, achievable task to work on. Flowtime works best when you focus on one task at a time, so you can break a large task into smaller, more manageable ones. Multi-tasking may be momentarily helpful, but in the long run, it distracts you and limits your time management

2. Start a stopwatch when you begin your task. Keeping track of your focus time can give you insight into your ability to focus for long periods of time. 

3. Keep working until you can’t. Focus on your task until you feel tired or distracted from your flow. 

4. Stop the stopwatch and write down your time. As time goes on, your focus time will increase as you familiarize yourself with the flow state. 

5. Write down distractions you encountered. Note the distractions that took you out of your flow state so you can keep track of them and find ways to reduce them. 

6. Take a break. With Flowtime, you can choose the length of your breaks so that your energy is truly replenished. Using a timer can help keep you accountable. 

7. Repeat the cycle. Continue this cycle until you finish your to-do list. 

The Flowtime technique offers a multitude of advantages for students. Personalizing your time management techniques to evolve with you, rather than against you, reduces disruptions to your workflow and encourages you to immerse yourself in your tasks. It is an efficacious alternative to the strict conformity of the Pomodoro technique. The next time you have a large assignment, limit your distractions and truly focus on the task. Not only will you obtain a better outcome, but you’ll also learn how much time and energy you can save, all while truly immersing yourself in your work. 

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