Are you as productive as you could be? - Selena Tramayne, Ph.D.

Are you as productive as you could be?

By Selena Tramayne | productivity

May 19
The 40-5-15 Productivity Strategy

Ever feel like the Little Engine That Could when moving towards your goals?

Chugging along, while doing your best to hold on to the dream.

Feeling like you're never, ever, ever going to get there.

The top of that mountain just looks so unbelievably huge sometimes, doesn't it?

What if you could be the Shanghai Transrapid (the fastest train on the planet) instead of the Little Engine That Could?

Moving towards your dreams like the Shanghai Transrapid is easy if you have the right strategies.

The 40-5-15 productivity strategy is one of my favorites.

It's simple. Easy. And incredibly powerful.

And it's based on the Pomodoro technique. But with a few upgrades to make it extra powerful.

With the original Pomodoro technique, you work for 25 minutes and take a break for 5. Francesco Cirillo originally developed it to help people stop procrastinating.

But here’s the problem...

The original Pomodoro isn’t incredibly effective if you’re not having trouble with procrastination. The 25 minute work time isn’t long enough to accomplish what’s needed in one sitting and a 5-minute break doesn’t really cut it either. I mean what can you really get done in 5 minutes besides a decent neck stretch?

So... I made both the work and break times longer to fit how I like to work.

And then I added a twist.

Every hour it looks like this…

40 Minutes | Focused Work



5 Minutes | Check Email



15 Minutes | Take a Break



During the 40 minutes, I do my best to turn off any distractions. I make it a game to see how much work I can get done in those 40 minutes.

Next, I check email for 5 minutes, working on the highest priority emails first. You'd be surprised how many emails you can read and respond to when the clock is ticking. This allows me to check my email and get back to people every hour which is pretty responsive in most cases. I leave the non-urgent emails for my admin time (after lunch and right before I end for the day).

Finally, for the break, I step away from my desk and do something physically active for 15 minutes. This can be…

  • Cleaning (I work from home)
  • Lifting some weights
  • Doing some yoga stretches
  • check-circle-o
    Taking a quick walk outside
  • check-circle-o
    Taking a dance break. Yes, I take these and I highly recommend, especially when you’re needing an energy boost.  Go here and try it now.  You’re welcome. (Careful: the video starts automatically)

Which one I choose for any given break just depends on what I'm in the mood for (and how messy my place is).

So, if you think about it, by the end of the day, I've gotten a ton of work done, have a clean home, exercised and stretched, and partied it up.  Not bad for 8 hours.

Try it for yourself. The idea is to maximize your productive mental time to get stuff done, while also giving your mind a rest and your body some movement.

Productivity never felt so good.

With love & joy, 

P.S. Is there someone in your life who could benefit from the 40-5-15 productivity strategy? Why not share this with them?

About the Author

Selena Tramayne, Ph.D. is the founder of The Tramayne Group, which provides programs and coaching services to benefit new and emerging coaches. She runs online masterminds and group coaching, as well as provides one-on-one consulting to amazing coaches who want to take their business to the next level. When not working in and on her business, she can be found hiking, mountain biking, and going on bliss walks near her home in Albuquerque, New Mexico.