The working week can feel like it’s in a constant state of fluctuation. Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day, while at other times you can feel like you’ve been granted superhuman powers!

But when it comes to workflow patterns there’s no ‘one size fits all’. We all have our own routines, restrictions and attention spans that form the way we work. With that in mind, we look at three ways to structure your work day and highlight the key advantages they can have on boosting your productivity.

The 15-minute break system

Also related to findings on optimum brain proficiency. It involves taking a 15-minute break in the morning, 30 minutes for lunch, and another 15-minute break in the afternoon.

  1. Splits your day into 3 large segments. Allows you to separate tasks easier and retain focus.
  2. It’s flexible, your breaks are defined by you but regimented enough to keep your mind ticking.
  3. Great for those working with screens all day, reducing eyes strain and fatigue.

See how we got on when we tried this technique.

Pomodoro Technique

Encourages time management by splitting your day-to-day tasks into 25-minute segments, with 5 minutes break in-between.

  1. Enables you to cover multiple tasks throughout the day and maximise your time.
  2. Gives you flexibility over your workload and can reduce the number of distractions.
  3. Improves your health by allowing you to step away from your desk more often, preserving your eyes and stretching your legs.

We also trialled this technique, so find out our verdict!

The 90-minute block system

Informed by scientific study of human biology. This system is based upon findings that suggest our brains are programmed for 90 minutes of high-frequency activity, followed by 20 minutes of lower-frequency activity. In scientific terminology, this is known as a ‘The Ultradian Rhythm’.


  1. Structure your day around your natural body clock, keeping your mind and body in tune with its capabilities and limitations.
  2. It can keep you energised throughout the day, improving productivity, especially in the afternoons.
  3. Your body will recharge better in general, keeping you feeling refreshed for the next day.

Read more on the science behind the technique.

It’s worth mentioning that each day is different, and the results of these techniques will not always be the same. But by trialling some of these techniques for a week or so, you’ll be able to better understand what method or style of working suits you. Increasing your knowledge of your own capabilities will improve the way you use your time and ultimately, create a more productive and positive experience at work.

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About the author

Tristan Potter

From candidate experience to flexible working, and from supporting graduates to ATS reports; Hannah's written it all over the years! Hannah has contributed to publications as diverse as The Guardian, UK Recruiter and University Business. She is also the wordsmith behind our whitepapers and guides, from GDPR to Employee Volunteering.