One of the banes of working for yourself and also working from home is procrastination. There is always something you can do other than what you really need to be doing at the moment. What about another cup of coffee? Or have I done the laundry? Time to clean the house? Should I workout first? Do I need to cook dinner already? And so those are some of the many demons I dance with daily.
Thus recently, while lamenting to a fellow friend who works as a freelancer, thus giving herself lots of free rein to procrastinate as well, she told me she tried this little trick before called pomodoro. It basically means you set your timer to 25 minutes, and while the time ticks you will solely set your entire focus into one task (which you pre-determined of course). Once the alarm ring you will drop everything like a hot coal, despite whether if the task is complete or not, and take a short 3-5 minutes break. Then after that you may start your 25 minutes cycle again, either to continue the previous task or onwards to your new task if it was done (with a silent praise to self).
I was immediately sold on this idea and went home, did a little research on how it truly works, you may read it here, where there’s also after 4 pomodoro cycles which you are allow to take a longer break of 15-30 minutes. So next morning, once I did my start-the-day-routine (which I came up with to get myself going at home and which would be another get-things-done post itself), I sit down to experiment on pomodoro. Not having any timer of sorts, I resort to using my oven timer for it. I find using the classic dial of turning it to 25 minutes kind of set the mind onto the task at hand. Besides, a distance repeating tick-tock-tick-tock-tick-tock kind of keep me on the edge to complete the task.
So how did it go, you might wonder? Well so far it works for a couple of my tasks, but I always find myself not returning to pomodoro after my long break (which of course somehow ended up longer than the allowed 30 minutes). Sometimes something else came up like lunch date or meetings that would break this pomodoro cycle too. Well of course this is only day two of my experiment and I am keen to perfect it a little bit more, and tweak it to suit myself in some ways. One thing I realize is that it would be really great to have a list of tasks first, before you start on your pomodoro roll, so that you can focus entirely on each task at hand and can keep going without needing to pause and plan/think.
Well wish me luck in continuing my quest to productivity in my very own home. Let me know if you have more productivity hacks that can be used to kill the demon call procrastination!