The idea of a pomodoro started in the 80s by Francesco Cirillo. It’s pretty simple: do some concerted amount of work for a specific time period (the “pomodoro”) and then take a shorter break afterwards. Repeat.
The usual suggested times are that the pomodoro (work component) takes 25 minutes and the rest or reward part takes 5 minutes.
An episode of Hidden Brain by Shankar Vedatam that I listened to suggests that the reason this works is that we develop habits by rewarding outselves in the minute, even if the activity is of benefit to us in the longer term. The longer term benefit is too far away to give us the dopamine hit, the direct reward.
The trick, for me, is to find something enjoyable to do for just that five minute rush. I have been using Facebook and Twitter, but I’ve found that that gets too engaging. I need to find something else! Perhaps just reading the news or doing some quick moderator work on the DSP Stack Exchange site that I help on?
Definitely needs thought!