Improve your focus and productivity with Domat (Beginners guide)

By PlamenB | PlamenB | 26 Jul 2021

If you are struggling with focus and wondering where to begin or if you are looking for ways to become more productive then consider using the simple Domat method.

What is Domat?

The word домат [Domat] is just the Bulgarian word for tomato. Read on to see why I’ve chosen this specific word.

The Domat method will help you do more focused work and produce better results. The method has three levels depending on how much you have mastered your focus and the level of your discipline. Every level describes a simple step by step process for you to follow. This article focuses on the first level only

Beginner level

If you really struggle with focus this is where you should start. I’ve known people who struggled to read books to a point where they have been so frustrated and haven’t finished a book for years. The reason was because their mind would wonder after several minutes and they couldn’t really focus or enjoy the book. Using the Domat method I have helped some of them develop focus and discipline that allows them to fall in love with reading.

We make use of focus periods and break periods. These are the steps

  • Choose the work or activity you will be performing. e.g. read a book
  • Start by setting a small focus period  of 5 to 10 minutes. If you find yourself getting distracted then shorten the focus period.
  • After performing the activity for 5 to 10 minutes stop and allow your brain to get distracted for 5 or 10 more minutes.
  • After no more than 10 minutes break go back to the activity an attempt another focus period 
  • This is the tricky step and you will need to learn to recognise this. If you feel that it takes a lot of effort to focus and you need a longer break then extend your break to 20-30 minutes. However you are only allowed to do this roughly every hour or hour and a half. You should not take longer breaks after just one focus period. (so just one longer break roughly every 90 minutes)
  • When you become used to the 5 or 10 minute focus period, extend the time by another 5 minutes. e.g. if you’ve used 10 minute periods to begin with now try with 15. Keep your break periods to about the same length. Keep your longer break periods to the same length as before and take long breaks only once per 90 minutes. 

Over time your focus ability will improve and you will make progress with your chosen activity. Sounds crazy? Don’t believe just my word - check out this video for a similar approach.

Isn’t this just the Pomodoro technique?

Well, it is not. It is similar but also very different. The pomodoro technique has a major flaw, which I will write about in another article on my blog. But in short it is not very context specific and ignores modern understanding about how our brains operate.

To recognise the similarity though I have chosen a name which is simply translating the Italian word Pomodoro into Bulgarian - Domat. 

I hope you enjoyed reading this and keep an eye for the next part.

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