William Liao

February 15, 2022

breaks & movement

On the recommendation of a friend, I spent the day working in 25-minute blocks followed by 5-minute breaks and a 10-minute walk every 2 hours. 

Some of you may be more familiar with the name of this approach — The Pomodoro Technique — which Francesco Cirillo developed in the 1980s.

Additionally, based on the advice of Dr. Andrew Huberman — a podcaster and Professor of Neuroscience at Stanford — I also maintained a 1:1 sitting:standing ratio with each work block of sitting being followed by a work block of standing and vice versa. 

Now that the day has concluded, I thought I’d a few high-level observations: 

  1. I got more done. 
  2. I’m less tired. 
  3. The best solutions arrived during my breaks, not while I was working.

With nothing but upside from this experience, I wondered: “why didn’t I do this sooner?” 

Yes, being in a hyperconnected world where more and more knowledge work is possible is awesome. But as humans, we’re also built to move. 

If you can help it, don’t brush the latter off and be like the typical office worker that sits for 15 hours a day — take regular breaks and move often. 

Schedule them; make them sacred events. 

These are easily two of the most effective lifestyle changes you can implement to optimize your work, energy, and overall sense of wellbeing.