We all know that just working and not having any fun could let us get a lot of done short term, but long term it’s not sustainable.
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”
We all have those days, when we just can’t seem to start and then we can’t stick with an activity we should be doing. The work seems endless, the time seems to be dragging. We are sleepy and can’t focus.
Should you just force yourself then? Maybe… or maybe not? Forcing yourself when you are clearly not in the mood might be the wrong way to do it.
Animedoro combines fun with getting stuff done
What if I told you that you can solve 2 problems:
- not getting work done
- not having fun
with the same technique?
It’s called “Animedoro” and is a variation of a work/break timer. It’s applicable for any time of work when the focus time is essential, like if you need to study for an exam or finish a report.
It works like this:
- you work for 40-60 minutes
- you watch an episode of an anime which is usually 20 minutes if you cut out the intro and outro songs
You can also start with the anime to enter a good mood straight away!
What you need for animedoro is a timer (one on your phone would do) and somewhere to watch anime like netflix or crunchyroll. If you don’t particularly like anime, you can watch a show with short episodes instead.
Work / fun intervals are pretty powerful
If you take breaks you can go on for much longer and overall you will have a more pleasant experience. Imagine if you were to climb a very steep mountain when you aren’t super fit. It would be very, very hard to go without stopping and you will miss all the great views, because you would be struggling too much to pay attention. On the other hand if you take regular breaks, it might take you a bit longer, but you will be able to get to the top and you will enjoy it much more along the way!
Cognitive work is similar in this regards. Good breaks will make all the difference! It works for studying as well as just getting any type of non-exciting or hard work done.
Another reason why animedoro works so is because watching anime will get you excited and that will make you more alert and in a better mood and that helps with studying or working on difficult projects.
It also provides you something to be looking for, so you are motivated to complete more work intervals!
Advantage of longer times compared to the pomodoro technique
In the pomodoro technique your work interval is 25 minutes and your break is 5 minutes. After a couple of iterations you take a longer break 15-20 minutes.
The animedoro work to fun ratio might seem worse at first as 60 / 20 is 3 and 25 to 5 is 5. Which would make it less efficient.
However, pomodoro not only does short breaks, it also has longer breaks every so often. When you incorporate the longer breaks into the pomodoro work to fun ratio, it suddenly becomes very similar to animedoro’s. So both techniques are similarly efficient!
The advantage of animedoro is that the work intervals are longer so you get interrupted less, this might be especially useful if you do an activity that requires a lot of context. Writing an essay or coding could be good examples.
Additionally, because the break time is longer, you can enjoy it more too as in comparison it’s hard to do anything very exciting within a 5 minute break. Win-win!
Here are some additional tips to help you get you most of the animedoro technique.
Add some movement
Some people raise a valid concern that even though anime provides a nice break for the mind, it’s a bad practice to sit in front of a computer for a long time. They are right! But there is an easy fix for that.
When you transition between work and break add some movement to it, like 10 pushups, some squats or pull ups. It will take less than a minute and body will thank you!
Use watchlimits to make sure you don’t get carried away with your break
One danger of using the animedoro technique is that you end up watching anime and not getting any work or studying done!
It’s a valid concern, but you can protect yourself form it by using an extension such as watchlimits.
Where you can set a custom window, e.g. 60 minutes with ~20 minutes of time for watching within, which would be same as animedoro intervals of 40 to 20.
This way, the extension will limit you after about 20 minutes of watching until enough time passes. Check out watchlimits, it’s free!
That’s all I have for today! I hope you’ll find this technique both productive and enjoyable!
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