Do you know what the smartest people in the world are doing?
Imagine them lounging in their secret lair.
They’re probably wearing long, flow, unicolor robes.
They have oversized, bulging skulls to house their massive, 3000cc brains.
There are lights and screens everywhere. Data and text and insights flying around the room faster than you can think.
All of their attention and energy is focused on one thing…
Discovering new ways to distract you.
They work for tech companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook.
For all of the talk of startups changing the world, most are just advertising companies.
Google? They make their money from ads.
Facebook? Ads.
YouTube? Ads.
Snapchat? Ads.
Apple? They make money by selling you devices…
For seeing ads.
If you’re not using their service, then you’re not seeing ads and not making them money.
So what is their solution?
To turn you into an addict!
They use a Pavlovian attention-action-reward cycle to keep you hooked all day.
Remember Pavlov?
He’s the Russian scientist who trained his dog to expect sausages every time a bell rang.
Remember that dog next time your phone beeps… 😉
Actually, we have it worse than Pavlov’s dog…at least he got sausages!
Plus, he was a dog. So he probably wasn’t doing anything better with his time.
You, on the other hand, you have important stuff to do.
But when your phone is whizzing and vibrating every minute, it’s impossible to get any meaningful work done!
Luckily, there is a solution:
Ironically, it comes in the form of an app.
(Though you could adapt the principle in any way you see fit).
It’s called the Pomodoro Technique.
With the Pomodoro technique, you work in 25 minute blocks.
The rule is, during those 25 minutes, you do real work and focus only on the task at hand.
That means your phone is off, you’re not checking Facebook, no email, etc.
Every 25 minutes, you take a five minute break.
During that break you can do all the impulsive, addictive social media stuff you want! (Or read a book, whatever).
After three or four of these blocks, you take a longer break (15-20 minutes, whatever works!).
At the end of the day, you can see how many Pomodoros (25 minute work blocks) you finished. The more, the better.
Plus, the Pomodoro Technique uses the same Pavlovian cycle to get you addicted to productive work.
Do 10 Pomodors a day, and I promise you’ll have a happier, more fulfilled, more accomplished career!
And you’ll be able to afford all the sausages you want. 😉
If you do any sort of work that requires technology or deep focus, you may find this life changing.
If you’re on a Mac, I recommend an app called Pomodoro Time.
There is also an iOS app called FocusKeeper which is supposed to be very good.
So go out there and destroy these evil tech geniuses and their app notification henchmen!
P.S. Shout out to Glen Allsopp of for first recommending Pomodoro. Cheers!