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Episode 139 - 20 Second Productivity Rule

Season #6

I explore the 20-second productivity rule, a powerful tool for combating distractions in our modern society. By delaying gratification for 20 seconds, we can retrain our brains, minimise distractions, and increase focus and productivity. Give it a try and let us know how it works for you.



0:00:00 Introduction to the Effective Teaching Podcast

0:00:19 Introduction and Excitement for the Return of the Podcast

0:01:11 Importance of Focusing and Managing Distractions

0:03:05 Introducing the 20-Second Productivity Rule

0:09:11 Achieving Flow State: Getting in the Zone

0:10:13 The Simple Hack to Stay in Flow State


Long Summary

In this episode of the Effective Teaching Podcast, we're back after a long hiatus, and I'm excited to share some valuable insights with you. Over the past nine to ten months, I've been focusing on a specific task that has made me more effective in managing things. And now, I want to pass on what I've learned to you.

Today, I want to introduce you to the 20-second productivity rule, which is a powerful tool in combating distractions in our modern society. We live in a world where our phones constantly demand our attention, and we're trained to respond to messages and notifications immediately. This constant state of distraction hinders our ability to be productive and focused.

The 20-second rule aims to improve our self-control around distractions. It involves inserting a 20-second barrier between the craving to engage in a distraction and the actual satisfaction of fulfilling that craving. By creating this separation, we can potentially forget about the distraction altogether and extend our periods of focused work.

By implementing a simple strategy of delaying gratification for 20 seconds, we can retrain our brains to separate our cravings from the immediate satisfaction of fulfilling them. And this delay can be extended to a minute or more. So, when we feel the craving to check our phones or engage in other distractions, we can focus on completing the task at hand before indulging ourselves.

It's important to actively engage our brains during this 20-second delay and resist the urge to give in to distractions. Setting a timer can be helpful in reminding ourselves to stay focused until the task is completed. Gradually increasing the delay time also helps in developing our ability to stay focused and be more productive.

By minimising distractions, we can enter a state of flow where we're fully immersed and engaged in our work, leading to higher quality and more efficient outcomes. This simple hack has the potential to retrain our brains and make us more productive and focused.

I hope you found this tip valuable and give it a try. Let me know how it goes for you. If you find that it's really helping you, that's fantastic. But if you feel like it's not making a difference, I want to hear from you too. Your feedback is valuable, and I want to support you in becoming a more effective teacher.

Stay tuned for another episode in two days as we're aiming to release three episodes a week to catch up on missed content. I hope you're enjoying the show. If you want to learn more about how I can support you in your teaching journey, head over to You'll find all the resources you need.


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