Flow + Pomodoro: The Super Productivity Stack

Productivity Stack

In my experience, you do your best work when you’re in a good mood and you’re focused. You can also look at it as being a state of “Flow,” which is a term the psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi coined in a book with the same title. It’s one of the best tools for productivity.

It’s that state of mind where you’re completely immersed in the task at hand and you lose track of time. You simply feel a deep sense of focus and satisfaction at being productive. As Csikszentmihalyi said in his book:

“The best moments in our lives, are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times—although such experiences can also be enjoyable, if we have worked hard to attain them. The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”

Flow is often associated with peak performance and creativity. And you can achieve that when you find the right balance between challenge and skill level.

How do you know you have Flow? When work is effortless and you’re making progress.

The hardest thing about Flow is getting in that mind-state. So here are a few tips:

  1. Start your day with purpose: Begin each morning by setting a clear intention for what you want to achieve. This clarity will drive your actions and keep you focused.
  2. Simplify your workspace: A clutter-free environment leads to a clutter-free mind. Organize your workspace to foster creativity and productivity.
  3. Focus on one thing at a time: Concentrate on one task to give it your full attention and best effort. Believe me, you’ll finish more that way.
  4. Find your challenge-skill balance: This balance is crucial for entering a state of Flow and enjoying the process. Focus on doing things that are both challenging but are still within your skill level.
  5. Practice Mindfulness: Even a few minutes of meditation can make a big difference. Try to be mindful of the things you do even when you’re busy.
  6. Reflect on what you’ve accomplished: Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. By doing this, you can encourage yourself to keep moving forward.

Flow + Pomodoro = Super productivity

Another favorite productivity strategy of mine is the Pomodoro technique.

Pomodoro is a way of working: Often 25 minutes of work followed by a 5-minute break.

This method is a great way to work in a structured way. It gives you direction, plus, it boosts your focus. When you’re doing a “Pomodoro interval,” your brain somehow focuses better on the task at hand.

Now here’s where the real magic happens: When you combine Flow and Pomodoro.

  1. Use Flow to get in a creative and optimistic state of mind.
  2. Then, use Pomodoro, to execute better and more efficiently.

This stack is really the best of both worlds. When you only have one or the other, you will either lack creativity or execution.

I’d say this is why so many people don’t make true progress.

  • People who focus on Flow might have great ideas, but they won’t be able to make them happen.
  • People who focus on Pomodoro might be great at getting tasks done, but they probably don’t focus on important things. Things that move the needle.

To have success and happiness in your career, you need to have all of the above. You want work that’s challenging you mentally, but at the same time, you also want results.

Because what do you call work that only challenges you mentally but doesn’t pay? A hobby.

But if your work is also not challenging or engaging enough, it becomes a cage.

Stay focused and creative

What makes both Pomodoro and Flowtime work well is the fact that they make you work with full concentration so you can finish your tasks quickly.

The goal is to divide your tasks into periods where you can fully concentrate. So you can do your work faster.

As Marcus Aurelius said:

“Do not act as if you had ten thousand years to throw away. Death stands at your elbow.”

This urgency combined with awareness leads to an unbeatable productivity mindset.

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