I just tried this, and I recommend it:
“Pomadoro technique” for some reason never appealed to me much – this is similar, but it has a bit more structure. Still lightweight though.
I went for the setup he recommends to start with: 6 cycles, each of 30 mins work + 10 min questions / break (so 6 x 40 mins = 4 hours total).
I found it seemed to help me a lot to avoid getting distracted, made me get up and walk around every so often, and kept me re-thinking and refocusing on what was important at the right sort of frequency. I also found the questions at the end of every cycle to be useful at the end of the 4 hours to remember where I’d gone wrong.
Personally I didn’t actually use the spreadsheet template, I used org instead (which is a productivity/note taking tool popular amongst programmers who use emacs). That meant I missed the little charts, but I don’t feel like that was much of a loss. The spreadsheet template looks good though, and a good way to start if you don’t already have some.
Definitely going to try this again. Not sure if it’ll work as well every time, or in every situation, but I’m going to see how far it goes…