Labor Day has been around for over a hundred and thirty years.
Americans are celebrating today and according to Wikipedia, we’re supposed to be hosting a national tribute to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.
I think a great way to do this is to share a productivity hack that has made a world of difference in my mindset towards work and productivity.
Have you heard of the Pomodoro technique?
How it Works
It’s a simple, but very effective way to improve your work and/or study habits. The basic concept is to set a kitchen timer to 25 minutes. You work until the timer dings signaling your 25 minutes are up.
Set the timer again, but this time for five minutes. Use this time to take a break! After your five minutes are up, reset the timer for another 25 minutes cycle. Continue to do this for the rest of your work day.
By forcing yourself to work during the timer period and take a break during the subsequent five minutes, you’ll be training yourself to be more productive. You’ll be actively focusing for a period of time and then actively taking a break as well.
If you want to take it a step further, you can become a Certified Pomodoro Master. To do so, tackle these six objectives:
1. Monitor how many Pomodoro periods you need to complete a specific task (i.e. how many 25-minute increments?).
2. Learn to protect your Pomodoro from internal and external interruptions. Resist the urge to check social media or take incoming phone calls or text messages.
3. Make accurate estimations of how many Pomodoros you need to complete a certain activity. This builds on #1.
4. Use your Pomodoro time period not only for work, but also to recap and review your progress. I guess this helps you to be conscious of what you’ve been able to accomplish and stay focused?
5. Set your daily schedule based on your to do’s in Pomodoros. I think this means to plan your day in advance knowing if you work for eight hours, you have 16 Pomodoro periods to get stuff done.
6. Choose your own objective; i.e. increase your productivity, speed or quality of work time. What would you like the Pomodoro technique to help you accomplish? Track your progress, based on your sixth objective.
You’re supposed to follow the objectives in order and not move on to the next until the current objective has been mastered. There’s also a book that you can buy to learn more tricks and tips.
I haven’t necessarily worked my way through the objectives, but I have used this online timer to measure my work and subsequent break time. In fact, it’s been a while, so I think I’m going to start doing it again to increase my own productivity. It really does help me to stay focused on the task at hand. Sometimes I’m easily distracted…
Your turn to sound off. Have you heard of or tried the Pomodoro technique? Thoughts?
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