How to Get MORE Done By Procrastinating with the (10+2)*5 Rule

by Keka Schermerhorn

If you read our To-Do List article, you know we’re big fans of using lists to help narrow focus and improve productivity. But what if we told you adding a simple equation to the mix could increase productivity while tricking your brain into looking forward to the work?

How To Do It

The premise is simple. Start by making your To-Do List, and start crossing things off the list using the (10+2)*5 rule.

Wait, what? Allow us to explain

Start with 10 minutes of solid work. Once those 10 minutes are up, take 2 minutes to procrastinate. Visit your favorite site, get some coffee, eat a snack; whatever you do, there is no work allowed. Once those 2 minutes are up, go back to 10 minutes of work. Repeat the cycle for a total of 5 times, and you have exactly an hour of productivity with spaces in between to give your brain a rest.

The Rules

You can get a full description of the rules for this system here, but the most important thing to remember is this: don’t skip any breaks. By taking the time to procrastinate, you force your brain out of inertia and into wanting to get things done.

The End Result

After you’ve put the (10+2)*5 rule to use long enough for your brain to recognize the pattern, you’ll start anticipating both the breaks and the work cycles. And you may (and can) eventually find yourself skipping the break, forging on through your to-do list with increased productivity.

The three numbers can be changed to whatever you like with a bit of experimentation, especially if you want to structure your whole working day around them. The important thing is to maintain the consistency of the break-to-work ratio long enough for your brain to be permanently tricked into wanting to do work.

DISCLAIMER: We are not doctors. The opinions on this website are not to be taken as medical advice. None of these opinions have been reviewed by the FDA. Consult your doctor before taking any supplements. We receive free products to review and participate in affiliate programs, where we are compensated for items purchased through links from our site (at no cost to the buyer). See our disclosure page for our list of comped products and affiliate programs. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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