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Productivity Hack: #1 Focus with Pomodoro!

I get asked how I manage time considering I am a Dad, Hubby, Entrepreneur, Project Manager, Writer, Musician and quite a lot of other things. Someone said I was a polymath, which made me feel quite proud, to be honest.

Anyway, I thought I should share some tips that might be useful for others who may feel they do not have enough hours in a day. I'll share my tips over a couple of articles so each one is no longer than 2 minutes of reading time.

So let's begin, shall we...

"Multi-tasking" with POMODORO!

First off, it is VERY bad to multi-task for several reasons:

  1. It gives the illusion of getting many things done while in reality, ALL the tasks that are being carried out are ALL suffering/not being done well.

  2. It trains the brain to be shallow in terms of comprehension; ever realised that over time you do more of skimming than actually reading

If we are honest, we know this is true as we do meetings and Facebook; we don't enjoy Facebook and we don't get much out of the meeting. Same with writing out a blog post and watching TV, chatting with a date and flicking through Instagram. Enter the "Pomodoro Technique"

What's that?

Fact: Except the mind is trained, it tends to lose focus the longer time is spent on an activity that requires concentration. Focus, by its very definition, also means other variables suffer a lack of attention at the expense of one that is currently receiving attention. Now, what you want to do is NOT force the mind to stay focussed for longer. (Not at the beginning, at least). You want to go with the flow and maximize the short moments when the mind is naturally focused, which is a few minutes at a time. With the Pomodoro technique, what you do is:

  1. Set a timer for a short time. Normally, it is 25 minutes, but you can start with 10-15 mins

  2. During that time, you do ONLY ONE thing. You ONLY write the post, practice that scale, edit that document, play that game, talk to your friend.

  3. During that time you do NOTHING else

  4. When the timer comes to an end, you take a break for a few minutes and then set the time again OR, (if you have achieved that amazing state of focus), you repeat the timer for another 10 - 15 minutes

  5. You can continue on the task you were working on before or start another task, focusing on ONLY the current tasks you are working on - and nothing else.

What is amazing is that when there is a timer counting down or a short time to achieve something, the mind focuses wonderfully - and gets more done. Which is why productivity does not fall in climes where working hours are shorter; less time is spent "faffing about" or chatting in the corridors. And more time is spent on getting through critical activities...

Try this out - and let me know in the comments if it worked for you



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