52 17 Minute Rule: Science Based Way To Boost Your Productivity

Who among us can honestly say that they haven’t wanted to get more productive in their life? It is the goal of plenty of people, and it is something that we should all strive for if we truly care about the kind of results that we can get out of our lives. This is why there is a lot of buzz around something known as the 52 17 minute rule.


What is the 52 17 Minute Rule?

Scientists have been hard at work trying to figure out the precise amount of time that the average human brain can focus on something before needing to take a break and allow itself to rest and do something else. As it turns out, the breaking point is 52 minutes. It is at that timeĀ the brain begins to lose focus and is unable to rebound easily and get back to work. Thus, it is often the case that taking a break at the 52 minute mark is exactly what people should do in order to allow their brain to rest and replenish its supply of creative juices.

52 17 minute

It is important not to remain on break for too long or you may risk losing your momentum to get things done at that point as well. Thus, you should allow yourself to take approximately a 17-minute break at the end of 52 minutes of work to hit the perfect combination of working just enough to get things done without working too hard and burning yourself out.

The great thing about the 52 17 minute method is that it is based on real science that is backed up by researchers who study these kinds of things. They know what they are talking about, and it is all backed up by the data that they have on hand. You can rest assured that what you are following is something that has been tested on real people and real scenarios all around the world.


How the 52 17 Rule Makes You More Productive

The 52 17 rule can help make you more productive by giving you some built-in breaks that you are forced to take. The thing is, you don’t want to overburden yourself by trying to work consistently through extremely long stretches of time. It won’t work out as you had desired, and you may end up sacrificing some of your productivity because you were trying to push too hard to get everything done.

Here are some other ways that the 52 17 rule can help you:

  • Allow your reserves of creativity to replenish
  • Give yourself a chance to check your phone or satisfy some other distraction need
  • Help you look back and see all that you have already accomplished
  • Give yourself the chance to refill a water bottle, have something quick to eat, or take care of any other basic need

You are not built like a machine to run forever without stopping, and you need to recognize that fact. If you do not unplug from time to time and allow your mind to unwind and recharge, you are going to burn out, and that will cause your work to suffer considerably. Instead, take the time to give yourself a short period of time to let some of that tension come off, and you may be surprised by how eager you are to jump right back into work once your break is nearing its end.


How to Get Started with the 52 17 Time Management Technique

You don’t need much to get started with this technique. Just find a timer and a space where you can take breaks when your 52 minutes are up, and you are all set. If you are working with a group of people, you may want to let them know ahead of time that this is how you are going to approach things. They may want to join you in your attempt to use your time more wisely, or they may at least understand why you are taking breaks when you are. If you can explain to them a little about the science that is behind this method they may be even more understanding of what you are doing.


Why is the 52 17 Rule So Random

When you first heard about the 52 17 rule, you probably wondered why the numbers are set at such random intervals. The truth is that the reason for this is because tests showed that 52 minutes was the average length of time that a person could reasonably hold their focus.

pomodoro technique timer

In fact, it is a great Pomodoro method alternative as the Pomodoro method relies on many of the same ideas, but a standard Pomodoro is just 25 minutes instead of 52, and that is just not enough time for some people to get done what they need to get done.


Why are Breaks Important?

You don’t have to be someone who suffers from ADHD to know that the mind is prone to wondering even after a short period of concentration time. It is not our fault that our brains want to think about something other than their main tasks, but it is our responsibility to reel them in when that happens.

In order to build a strong concentration muscle, you should allow yourself to take breaks from time to time. It gives your brain the chance to do what it wants to do for a while, and it means that you don’t have to be a productivity machine in order to get things done. Instead, you just follow the science of productivity to achieve as much as possible in your day without burning out your mind at the same time.


Does the 52 17 Rule Work for Studying?

Yes, you can and should give this method a try if the task that you need to accomplish is studying. There are plenty of stories of people trying to cram in as much studying as they possibly can the night before an exam, but this is rarely as effective as they think it is going to be. Instead, you should try to plan your study sessions in advance and execute them wisely.

The 52 17 rule may be used to help you set up a weekly schedule to prepare for an exam ahead of time. As an example of how this might work, you may consider using the 52 17 rule to help study the work that you need to do in the days leading up to your exam in order to put a little bit of work into it each day. If you did two cycles of the 52 17 methodĀ each night for 5 nights leading up to the exam, you could put a total of 8.5 hours of studying into this exam before you take it. That surely must sound more appealing than trying to cram that much studying into one night before the exam.


How The 52 17 Rule Compares to the Pomodoro Technique

These two techniques are similar to one another. The Pomodoro technique recommends working in 25-minute bursts of time with shorter breaks of 5 minutes until you complete the task that you need to. The benefit of this is that it breaks your tasks down into nice even half-hour segments (25 minutes of focus time followed by the 5-minute break). However, the downside is that it doesn’t follow the science as closely as the 52 17 minute rule. This rule is much more in line with what our brains are best equipped to do.

Either method will expose you to the idea of working for a period of time before allowing yourself a break to recharge, but the 52 17 rule is a much smarter method to go by if you are the kind of person who likes to follow rules and understands that plenty of scientific research has been put into this method to ensure that it is designed just right.



There is not as much talk about the 52 17 rule as there should be. Perhaps this is because it does rely on such odd numbers. That said, you can gain a lot by trusting the research that has gone into a method like this. If you would like to benefit from true scientific research into productivity, then there is no better option for you than to go with the 52 17 rule to allow your brain to operate the way that it is designed to do.

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