The Pomodoro Technique is a popular productivity hack, but looking into it, I hated how arbitrary the basic idea was. So 25 minutes of uninterrupted focus, why 25? Because the inventor's kitchen timer had 25 minutes on it. But why not 15 minutes, or 30? Haven't there been any studies on optimal timeframes or upper limits for concentration and flow?
So, I've read a lot of praise for Vipassana and mindfulness meditation, but I hate sitting still and not doing anything. Cutting through to the science, it's really all about metacognition and antisphexishness.
Another piece of the puzzle, I've always preferred wristwatches with an hour chime, it's a good way to knock yourself out of zombie mode and bring you back to the present: beep, it's X o'clock, what am I doing? But wristwatch chimes are never very loud, so they only work in quiet environments. But this is the 21st century, surely there are other options. And yes, there are apps for that. Caynax Hour Chime can set alarms not just for the hour, but also 15, 30, and 45 minutes past. I imagined 15-minute chunks of focused work alternating with 15 minute breaks.
After about a week of this, 15 minutes is too short. I chose a particularly piercing, high-pitched chime, but it happens so frequently that I still often tune it out. So upon consideration, maybe 20-minute chunks would work better: chime at top of the hour, 20, and 40 minutes past. And so far there's no app for that.