What is the 52/17 rule and why can it help you be more productive at work

What is the 52/17 rule and why can it help you be more productive at work


Have you worked more than eight hours without leaving the desk?

And in addition, it is possible that you have not even taken the time to have lunch.

The question is whether this type of work habits, increasingly common, increase your productivity . And the answer given by experts is usually a resounding NO.

A study by the Latvian organization Draugiem Group (which groups several startups ) found that a long day does not improve your performance. What really matters, says the research, is how you divide the time of work and the structure that you give to the development of your tasks.

What they concluded was that those people who make scheduled breaks in their routine, proved to be more productive than those who work more hours.

Man resting
Copyright of the GETTY IMAGES imageImage caption Those who invented this rule argue physical, mental and productive benefits.

To be more exact, the study proposes to follow the rule of 52-17 , which basically means to work with maximum dedication 52 minutes and rest 17.

“It’s not that the eight-hour-a-day work is obsolete, it’s that it has changed to a flexible hours model,” says ArtCine Rozentals, executive director of DeskTime, Draugiem Group.

“One tip for workers is to see what their daily performance is and analyze how they use time.”

Productive monitoring or espionage

The flip side of this issue is that the companies themselves monitor the way each employee uses their time.

But in this case, that follow-up can be controversial , given that probably not all people would be happy that their employer knows exactly what they did every minute of the day.

“For me it would be like an espionage, the truth is that I would not feel comfortable,” says an employee who works at a US bank.

Woman resting
Copyright of the GETTY IMAGES image
Image caption The detractors of this formula think that it could become an espionage formula.

In fact, any company can install software that lets you know what each employee did during their workday, explains Rozentals.

“The company can know if you have used your time in tasks related to work or personal matters.”

“It also allows the company to account for the time used in a specific project to calculate the cost of that project,” he adds.

The “tomato technique”

The idea of doing work breaks is not new. Several psychological studies have recommended it and even an Italian consultant, Francesco Cirillo, has proposed the idea of working 25 minutes and resting five.

He called it the “tomato technique” because when he put it into practice, he used a clock that is used in kitchens to make recipes, which had the shape of a tomato.

Copyright of the GETTY IMAGES imageImage caption The “tomato technique” has generated controversy.

Critics say that in many professions that technique is impractical.

For example, a surgeon will not stop operations, nor will a pilot stop an airplane; the same as a lawyer or a salesperson, they can not tell a client that they will not attend because they are in their “tomato minutes”.

But those who defend programmed breaks insist that the human brain is not prepared to be focused on the same task for eight hours in a row and that it is not good for the body to be sitting in a chair for eight hours.

And from a medical point of view, the flexible schedule has shown a positive impact on eyesight, back, blood circulation and stress levels.

Perhaps the debate is more focused on the invention of rules that not all employees serve, considering that the periods of concentration of people are different, as well as labor demands.

It may be that the 52-17 does not work for you personally, but it may be interesting to explore what is your best way to divide the time. That is to say, that you create your own rule.

Employees doing exercises
Copyright of the GETTY IMAGES imageImage caption Pauses have positive effects on eyesight, back, blood circulation and stress levels.
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Rava Desk

Rava is an online news portal providing recent news, editorials, opinions and advice on day to day happenings in Pakistan.


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