As the boss of my own life, things can feel pretty electric. I have constant idea-flow and brainstorms that can make it hard to focus on what I’m doing. This can create a big struggle when it comes to productivity. Throw in a strong belief in self care and an affinity for all things distracting and sometimes I find myself spiraling out of control, grasping at any tiny task that might make me feel productive at the end of the day.
I recently heard about the Pomodoro technique and after giving it a try, I’m finding this might’ve been exactly what I needed.
The Pomodoro technique was created by Francesco Cirillo in the late 80’s. The basic idea is to use a timer to break up your workload in precise amounts that will optimize your productivity. Everyone works differently and this technique can easily be adapted and played around with until you find exactly what’s right for you.
I heard about the Pomodoro technique from a friend who found his “magic numbers” to be 43 minutes of work and 17 minutes of non-work. This seems silly, but he explained it perfectly. Why do stores always charge $24.99 instead of $25? Because whether you realize it or not, your brain is being tricked when it sees the “24.” My friends Pomodoro breakcdown does the same thing.
45 minutes is a common amount of time. Cutting it short, even by 2 minutes, will trick your brain into feeling like it won’t be so dreadfully long. The same thing happens with 17 minutes of rest. We all know how long 15 minutes feels, but any number after 15 make trick you into thinking you have plenty of time!
Of course, we are rational people and we know 2 minutes won’t actually make a difference with your time, but it will make a difference with your attitude. If your work-time is 45 minutes, you might be distracted by wishing it would be over sooner. If 43 minutes tricks your brain into thinking “that’s not so bad” then you can work without the nagging feeling in the back of your head saying “oh my gooooood, when will it ennnnnnnd??”
I’ve been using this technique for a couple weeks now and it hasn’t failed me yet. 43 minutes is enough for me to finish an article or make a few blog graphics or do some social media work and 17 minutes gives me just enough time to rest my brain so that when my timer goes off I can get right back into working mode with ease.
Here’s a pretty awesome timer with a great design to help you with the Pomodoro technique if you want a little style to go with your productivity!
I’d love to hear from you on your favorite tips and tricks to staying productive! Leave it in a comment below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and your advice might be featured at LBN for all to see!
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