Do you perpetually procrastinate?
Do you find yourself doing only the tasks that you like to do and putting off those less fun, but important things for “later”?
Or maybe you can get yourself started but are vulnerable to every distraction imaginable so that finishing the task – if you actually do finish it – takes twice as long as it should have.
We’ve all been there.
Here is a trick that can help. It’s called the Promodoro Technique (pomodoro is the Italian word for timer).
It is very popular among writers but can be used for any task that, for whatever reason, doesn’t naturally keep your attention.
To use this method successfully you’ll need the following:
· A timer of some sort
· Pen and paper
· A task that requires your focus
· Commitment to focus for a set period of time.
Once you have prepared your space with these things, set your timer for 25 minutes.
Then set an intention to entertain zero distractions during that time. If anything pops in your head that is off task, jot a quick note about it and resolutely turn back to your original focus.
Once the timer goes off, you have completed one promodoro. Set the timer for five minutes and give yourself a break. When your break ends, begin another 25 minute session of being laser focused on your task.
Once you complete four of these, give yourself a longer break.
Often users will find that they want to stop before the timer goes off, but then when they see there are only a few minutes left, they think, “I can do a little more” and keep plugging away.
Also, using the Promodoro Technique will often facilitate a “flow state” where you are in the zone and getting a lot done. When that happens, ignore the timer and ride the momentum until you come to a natural stop.
Regular users of the Promodoro Technique report several benefits:
Longer attention spans
Less stress knowing that the important things are getting done
And here’s a hack for the hack:
If just getting started seems impossible, set the timer for 10 or 15 minutes instead of 25. Remind yourself, “I can handle anything for 10 minutes”. Chances are after you get started, you’ll find it easy to keep working.
Give it a try and let us know how it goes!