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Every productivity system stops working eventually and there’s nothing you can do about it

Alexey Guzey – “You’ve most likely tried the pomodoro technique. You set the timer for 25 minutes, then take a 5 minute break, then set the timer for 25 minutes again, then at some point you take a longer break and so on. I predict that pomodoro technique eventually broke down for the following reasons:

  1. you stopped adhering strictly to 5 minute breaks and they started turning into 6-7-10-15-20-or-more minute breaks
  2. you’ve gained an aversion towards 25 minute timers, even while remembering that you should set them, and started finding excuses like “oh this task is too short”, “oh i don’t need a pomo right now”, “i will wait till round time (:00 or :30) and start the pomo then” and these excuses started happening more and more frequently
  3. you started to outright forget about pomodoros, instead just doing your stuff the old way and once in a while realizing that you should’ve been running a pomodoro

It seems that every productivity trick / system stops working in exactly the same way I described above. Most productivity tricks develop aversion around them. All of them lose salience. The only way to avoid encountering problems with productivity is to make the stuff you want to be doing in the long-term to be the most exciting stuff you can do at any moment in time, which is perhaps possible if you, e.g. work at a startup, but is untenable in almost every situation…”

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