Boice is really into working in regular dedicated stretches, punctuated by short breaks (sort of a time reward).
The problem arises, of course, when either you really don’t want to work so you keep wasting time checking the clock, or you get into such a flow experience that you don’t take breaks and end up burning yourself out.
Some people set up timers. I’m not crazy about that because ticking is annoying and alarms drive me nuts.
Now, the following method doesn’t always work, and Boice would totally not approve… but…
Here’s my CD method. It’s simple really.
First a disclaimer: Boice says not to listen to stuff while you’re working. In like controlled randomized trials or something people think music helps but it actually doesn’t and it actually hurts or something.
Find a cd that’s about the length of time you want to work. Put the cd in. Play it and while it is playing you must work and not surf the internet or otherwise occupy yourself with things that are not work. When it stops, you take a break and do all those things you were avoiding doing because you were working instead. If you really have to use the restroom or drink some water when you get up then you have to pause the cd while you’re doing it and turn the cd back on when you get back.
Some people find classical music to be easiest to work along with. For me, I get the best writing in with a capella. When I’m seriously hardcore about writing I listen to The Kings Singers A New Day. I just totally associate that cd with writing now. My partner used The Crow soundtrack in high school, actually one specific track from The Crow soundtrack (“They keep CALLLING me,” he would sing off-key to his headphones), but now he prefers the dissonant sounds of Brassy. Thank goodness for headphones, is all I can say.
What do you listen to while working? If you don’t listen to anything, how do you keep yourself focused while you work?