Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The Amazing Tomato - POMODORO

A few days back , one of  the followers of my blog sent me a  message .

Ma’m , I read your blog posts regularly and I find them very useful.   I am a budding author and I am in the process of writing a book.  I followed the tips you had given in the  post and I am following it regularly. But somehow,  things are not getting done !  I cannot concentrate .  As soon as I try to write something, that very moment  I want to check my emails or remember  an important call that I have to make.   Once I get over with these,  I get disturbed or distracted with something or the other.  The net  result is that at the end of the day, I realize that I have not even written 25% of what I had planned to write .   Can you suggest how  I can get over this problem ?  Please... please  help  Ma'm ....

The reader was referring to one  of my earlier posts where I had  talked about  “The most powerful Productivity tool “.  (Click on the link to  read it).  That blog  post talked about the simple but very effective “To-Do List” , where you define the tasks or goals what you plan to do in a week and then break it down and list out tasks for the day. 

But the problem elucidated  was not about identifying and planning the tasks. The problem she is facing is one of the most common problems most of us face nowadays.  

The problem of  distraction . Very small attention spans. 

Multitasking. Information overload.

All of us face this problem nowadays. 

With the internet in my palm, Whatsapp messages, social media, video calls ,  sometimes I feel my  time  is no longer mine.  

The craving for looking at my smartphone at least once in 10 minutes is too strong (except when you are flying or in a no network zone – ha ha !).  We have become too much connected.  This is intruding in our lives and eating away precious , productive moments .

If this problem was posed to me four years ago, I would have recommended “meditation”. 

But today,  I will recommend a simple method named “POMODORO” .  I came to know about this technique from my daughter, who is trying to crack a very tough exam. 

The Pomodoro Technique can help you power through distractions, hyper-focus, and get things done in short bursts, while taking frequent breaks to come up for air and relax. Best of all, it's easy. If you have a busy job where you're expected to produce, it's a great way to get through your tasks. 

The Pomodoro Technique was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s. His best-selling book of the same name was updated and revised in 2013. 
"Pomodoro" is Italian for tomato. The technique works by getting you to structure your work in 25-minute sessions, each separated by a short break. Cirillo took the name from the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that he used to manage his time as a university student. 
The method is remarkably simple. Each 25-minute session is one "pomodoro." When you complete one, take a five-minute break before embarking on the next.   Every time you finish a pomodoro, you mark your progress with an “X”, and note the number of times you had the impulse to procrastinate or switch gears to work on another task for each 25-minute chunk of time.

At first, it might seem counter-intuitive to take so many breaks throughout the day. But research shows that this can actually enhance your focus when you return to the task you're working on. 

To make it simple, the following are the steps for combining the To-do list and the Pomodoro technique:
  • Make your weekly list for the tasks to be completed
  • Break it down to daily to-do list.
  • Prioritize the tasks
  • Choose a task to be accomplished
  • Set the Pomodoro to 25 minutes (the Pomodoro is the timer)
  • Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings, then put a check on your sheet of paper
  • Take a short break (5 minutes is OK)
  • Every 4 Pomodoros take a longer break.

Remember that during each sprint, there has to be absolutely no distraction. For example you will set your cell phone to the silent mode, if needed put a Do Not disturb sign near you, you will not look at emails, no multitasking.  You will fully concentrate on the task that you have set for the Pomodoro. 

After your timer buzzes, you will take a break of 5-6 minutes and then again set the timer for the next sprint.  When you have completed four "pomodori," take a longer break to rest and recharge. 

It is not necessary that you do 3-4 sprints in continuation. You can start with 1 or 2.  

In fact, I am writing this post as a Pomodori Sprint ! 😊  And I am happy with the result.  I will try more Tomatoes ... errr Pomodoris every day. 

And my dear budding author, I hope this helps you !

Why don't you too give it a try and let let me know if it is working for you or not? 

 Best of Luck ! 

Stay productive , Stay happy, Achieve your Goals!

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