Tomato Timing

Usually on Tuesdays, I try to have a work-from-home day. I find it’s helpful to have a change of scene in which to write and to concentrate in general…

…But lately, the whole “concentrate and focus” thing has been slipping a little. So yesterday I decided to try a method known as the “Pomodoro” Technique. Pomodoro is the Italian word for tomato and it comes from these tomato-shaped kitchen timers that were popular in a time that is not now, and a country that is not Australia (seriously I have never seen them before… is that just me?). Basically, you break up your working day into groups of 25 minutes. You set the timer and work for almost half an hour, WITHOUT checking your emails or facebook, and then take a break for 5 minutes. You rinse and repeat four times then take a longer break of 30 minutes before going back to the four 25 minute sessions.

Here’s the mental thing: it actually worked.

I got more work done yesterday than I think I did last week! (I sincerely hope that’s not true, but it definitely felt like it) I’m not sure why it worked for me; perhaps 25 minute intervals are so short that it seems like time is passing by quickly? Perhaps it’s the fact that I was getting up to re-fill my tea every half an hour. I have no idea what the psychological background is to this method. All I care about right now is that it worked. Hooray!

For those of you wanting to try it, I recommend downloading a Pomodoro timer app on your phone or laptop. The one I have “dings” helpfully then tells you nicely to “get back to work you slacker”. Extra motivation in my book 🙂


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