What if you could accomplish a full day’s work in only three hours? That’s the premise of a research study that affirmed what we already know about the law of diminishing returns: The more we work, the less effective we become with each additional hour of effort. It turns out the best practice for maximum productivity is to work in concentrated bursts followed by a short recovery period. This technique isn’t necessarily new. In the 1980s, Francesco Cirillo packaged it as the Pomodoro Technique, a time management method monitored by a timer to signal work and break intervals. (The name pomodoros is inspired by the tomato-shaped kitchen timer he first used.) Pomodoro doesn’t have a corner on the interval time management market. There are plenty of apps and books with recommendations to fit all sorts of work situations and worker personalities.

In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss the pros and cons of our busy lives and dream of the extra time (and energy) they would have by cramming eight hours of productivity into just three. Do you use a time blocking method to enhance your work productivity? Have you achieved a three-hour workday? Let us know on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the members-only community on Facebook. Thanks for joining the conversation!

Listen to Persuasion Episode 102:

Links from the show:

Why You Should Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time, BBC