Productophile Experiment #2: The “Back to School” Postulate

Productophile is just a fun-term I invented to call productivity-loving people like you and me

It’s about time we start our new experiment on increasing productivity. While the last one was just a personal observation, this new one will be more omnipresent for anyone who has ever gone to school. Let’s begin:

Title of Experiment: The “Back to School” Postulate

Hypothesis: To increase productivity and focus, in a Work-From-Home/Study-From-Home environment, by re-embracing the school-time schedule

Supplies:

  • Notebook/Computer/Tablet (Your preferred worktools)
  • A Stopwatch
  • Any Novel/Book of your choice (for reading)
  • Tiffin with Food
  • One T-Shirt/Dress

Assumptions:

  • Spent at least a year in school before the pandemic.
  • The school does not have a locker-room system to store your belongings.

Steps:

To re-embrace the school timetable, you will need to re-imagine yourself as a school-going kid before 2020 . Then follow the steps below:

The night before your productive day:

  • Prepare some food for your tiffin (presumably something light that can be consumed in morning hours — 6 AM to 2 PM)
  • Take out a T-Shirt/Dress from your cupboard that you want to wear tomorrow.

On the morning of the productive day:

  • Grab a novel you want to read during free time.
  • Prepare your work tools. Prefer a notebook over any laptop/desktop/tablet but if you can’t avoid them as a part of your workflow then simply turn on ‘Do Not Disturb’ on those devices before you use them. No Smartphones/Headphones are allowed.

During your Productivity Feat:

  • Work as if you were in your school. Use your stopwatch to set a Pomodoro timer for 25 minutes to determine a single class/course.
  • After 4 Pomodoro sessions (~2 Hours), take a 30 minute break to have your tiffin or read your favourite novel.
  • Continue with 4 more Pomodoro session for another 2 hours and take another 30 minute break for tiffin/reading/relaxing. REMEMBER: You cannot watch TV/play games on your computer/touch your smartphone during this time as you are in school following the school time-table.
  • Continue with 2 more Pomodoro session for an hour before you stop for the day.

Observations:

In school, kids are not allowed to bring in smartphones or any kind of electronic devices and for those productophiles whose schools did allow electronics on campus, we would like them to follow our assumption of not having a locker-room system for the sake of this experiment. Briefly, no smartphones/headphones/smart-watches etc are to be used or worn during the time of this experiment.

The purpose of preparing your tiffin and clothes to wear, a night before, is simply to minimize decisions on your producitvity-day. This is akin to wearing a uniform in school and eating only during a break between classes.

It can be observed that by following the pomodoro technique, one can achieve increased hours of productivity without a burnout. Refreshments should include only a tiffin with light breakfast food and a novel to read during the break-time. Here is a table you can use to record when you start your Pomodoro sessions and calculate productive work hours:

Observation Table for Experiment

*For any tweaks in the table, you can contact me on Twitter and I will send you a table according to your work-needs.

You are free to use any electronic device after the end of the school-hours (the 10 intense Pomodoro session).

Conclusion:

By imitating your school-time schedule and habits, you can achieve 6 hours of productivity with 0 minutes of screen-on time on your smartphone. Hence, the hypothesis can be proven true by following this postulate.

Do you think this experiment works for you? Give it a try and let me know so I can rectify my hypothesis if neccesary.

~Aditya Darekar

References: Read more about other Productophile Experiments here:

Productophile Experiment #1: Let’s get your phone to sleep for a day

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