Dividing your day into focused time ‘sprints’ and breaks sound trivial but it can do miracles. If done right.
It is super easy, you just need to follow a few simple steps.
1) SET A TASK
The main reason why Pomodoro technique is not working is usually that you haven’t set a task.
Even though it might sound funny with all the emails in your inbox, a pile of documents to read and other dozens of tasks on your to-do list but that is exactly the problem. There are too many things to do at the same time. So be realistic and pick a couple of tasks that can be completed within the sprint and put them down.
I know you can remember them but if you actually spend 10 seconds writing them down it will make you more dedicated to finishing them because they will be there in front of your eyes all the time.
Plus what a glorious feeling it is to tick them ‘done’ in the end.
2) START THE TIMER
It could be 25 minutes, it could be one hour. There is no right or wrong, choose what works for you the best and stick to it.
You can simply use a timer on your phone or find a smarter app that allows you to track what you are working on, how many times you got distracted or there are some that can even block the websites you choose such as Facebook or Reddit.
To be sure you are focusing on the things you want, think of all the distractions and try to get rid of those you can:
- Leave your phone in another room or at least put it out of your sight.
- Switch off the internet if you don’t need it for the task.
- Put on your headphones so you can’t hear everyone else in the house.
- Have a coffee or tea ready before you start.
3) BE STRICT – TAKE A BREAK
Even though you don’t want to, take a 5-10 minutes break when the timer rings. Your brain will get a needed break and it will help you in the long run.
It might be actually harder than you think if you haven’t tried this technique before. I can hear you laughing now, but imagine, you’ve already had a cup of coffee and there are not any activities you can think of to fit into such a short break, so why bother with a break. But it doesn’t take long and without a break your mind starts to wander and you are already choosing a movie for the evening.
To avoid skipping the breaks here are a few suggestions you could do:
Short stretch or exercise such as Five Tibetian Rites, simple stretching or if you want something more intense you can try 5-10 min pilates.
- Meditation that allows you to close your eyes to have a rest from the screen for example short Calm guided meditation or use Atom app.
- Quick house chores such as washing the clothes, preparing a shopping list, etc. Let’s get the most out of WFH.
- Replying to Facebook messages, having a quick call with a friend – basically everything you are trying not to do during the focus part.
After 3 – 5 (depending on the length) of the focused sprints you should take a longer break to properly regenerate and be ready for a productive afternoon.
4) JOIN OTHERS
Do you still struggle to keep the sprints and breaks? There are many online events where you can join others and kick off your productivity to maximum.
At the beginning of our Online Coworking Sprints we share with others what we will be working on to create the extra motivation to actually finish the tasks. And then there are 3 focus work sprints with 2 ten minute breaks when we stretch our bodies and minds and share our progress.
We are connected on Zoom all the time so even seeing other people and being seen working will give you the extra boost.