When I started my dissertation, I knew that it would be hard to keep myself productive and motivated on a year-long, self-planned schedule. What I didn’t realize until recently was that the key to keeping myself on that schedule was not to plan monthly deadlines, but to manage my hourly productivity each time I sat down to work. I’d sit down for an afternoon of research or writing, hit a block (obstacles are everywhere in a dissertation!), and spend 2-3 hours chasing bad leads, looking for distraction, or just staring and waiting for inspiration. Apparently, even a 4 hour block of time is too long for me to be left unsupervised! Enter 30/30.
30/30 lets you create a list of tasks, sort them, assign them durations, and get notifications when it’s time to switch. It’s loosely based on the Pomodoro Technique, but it allows you to set any duration for any task.
My afternoon study list loops through 1 hour read-write blocks and 15 minute breaks. I can pause it at any time. (This week, I’ve found myself pausing at the end of a writing block so that I can get another paragraph or two done while I’m on a roll.)
30/30 helps me work by telling me what to do at this exact moment; it helps me avoid the seemingly endless Feedly breaks and focus on productivity, yet without letting the afternoon look like a long, boring block of time.
Get 30/30 for free in the App Store: