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Productivity Methods: Which Work Best for You?

By: Bridgette W. Gottwald, LPC, NCC

Have you been struggling to stay productive or get things done recently? Well, you’re not alone! This time of year when temperatures continue to drop, we spend countless hours of the day inside. As we continue to work remotely amidst the global pandemic, it can be particularly challenging to stay productive. This blog will introduce and discuss the following three productivity methods: The Pomodoro Method, the Getting Things Done (GTD) Method, and The Seinfeld Approach. 

  1. Pomodoro Method

This strategy encourages people to work with the time that they have, as opposed to working against it. In utilizing this method, you will break your workday into 25-minute blocks that are separated by 5-minute breaks. The intervals themselves are referred to as pomodoros. After going through 4 different pomodoros, take a longer break of about 15 to 20 minutes. Putting a timer on things instills a sense of urgency, while forced breaks give you time to clear your head and avoid burnout. 

  1. Getting Things Done (GTD) Method

To break this down, the steps look a bit like this: 

  • Capture: this involves recording all that is on your plate, both small tasks and big tasks 
  • Clarify: process the action items and break them down into small steps while putting things in order of importance 
  • Organize: This is all about putting things where they belong and where they are supposed to go, and evaluating priorities when it comes to tasks 
  • Reflect: review and self-reflect frequently, stay on top of that list, and revise it consistently 
  • Engage: take action with confidence, and lean into difficult tasks, instead of avoiding them
  1. Seinfeld Approach

This approach is effective mostly because it focuses on “taking the focus off of each individual performance and puts the emphasis on the process instead.” First, choose a task that is simple enough to be sustainable as consistency is key! Remember that mastery follows consistency so try to track yourself in how often you are doing this task and then avoid “breaking the chain” (ex: 10 pushups a day, the calendar gets an “x” on it every time you complete the 10.)

Well, You’re a Therapist – What Do You Think? 

Of all of the productivity methods, my favorites have to be the Pomodoro and the Getting Things Done (GTD) method. I tend to struggle with the Seinfeld approach because it focuses on keeping a constant chain of tasks that you can sustain daily. I think that sometimes, each day looks different in various ways, so it’s hard for me to stay consistent in this way. 

I have found that the Pomodoro technique is most powerful for people that have trouble with staying focused and on task. For me personally, it’s been effective because I am a big fan of to-do lists, and my lists tend to be long! Giving myself time limits helps me work under pressure and set deadlines for myself in getting goals accomplished and things scratched off of that long to-do list. 

Additionally, I have found the Getting Things Done (GTD) method, created by David Allen to be extremely effective. I like that this method is broken down into five steps (capture, clarify, organize, reflect, and engage). I value and work well within high levels of structure, but get overwhelmed when I have a large number of things to do, which makes this method ideal. 

How Do People Benefit from Different Productivity Methods? 

When it comes to the different productivity methods, I think that GTD is most useful for those that struggle with organization, work well with structure, and feel extremely overwhelmed when there are many tasks. 

The Pomodoro Method is effective when you are tempted by distractions such as social media outlets. Also, the time constraints tend to fare well with people who work well under pressure and time-sensitive situations. 

The Seinfeld approach works well when you’re trying to facilitate and build up a healthy habit from scratch, learn a new skill, or when you have the desire to excel in an area that requires consistency. 

Your Turn

Which productivity methods resonate with you the most? Simply identifying this will help you to understand and realize your own personal needs and what strategies and methods work best for you.


Clear, J. (n.d.). How to stop procrastinating on your goals by using the “Seinfeld Strategy.” Retrieved from:

Loury, B. (n.d.). How to Pick the Best Productivity Method for Your Personality: Choose How You Work Based on Your Personal Traits. Retrieved from:

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