On February 15 I wrote a post called “Super Focused,” where I explained the Pomodoro Technique; a time management method that actually works! (If you’re interested in learning more about this effective time management technique, scroll down and check out that post).
I’ve used parts of this method at work; for example, before I leave for the day, I create a To Do list for the following day. It’s strangely satisfying to cross things off the list each day. And it beats using a thousand sticky notes like I used to. I also try and focus on one thing at a time; whereas I used to read emails or organize my desk while I was on the phone. I’ve read from numerous sources that multi-tasking isn’t effective.
“People don’t multi-task because they’re good at it. They do it because they are more distracted.” – David Sanbonmatsu, a psychology professor at the University of Utah
I’m convinced that I have ADHD, so multi-tasking comes naturally to me but at times it also leaves me feeling scattered. For example, as much as I love to write, it’s often very difficult to keep my butt glued to the chair. I suppose I could create a podium of some sort and write while standing but something tells me that wouldn’t work for me either. Before I started using the Pomodoro method, I’d jump from my chair constantly. I’m impulsive, so the moment an idea pops in my head, I’m compelled to do something about it. There are those rare days that I’m Super Focused but if I’m serious about becoming a successful author, I can’t wait for those once in a blue moon productive days.
Therefore for the past two and a half weeks, whenever I sit down to write, I use the Pomodoro Technique. I simply set my blue owl kitchen timer for 25 minutes and write. If a distracting thought pops in my head, I’ll either tell myself that it’s not important right now or I’ll write it down on my To Do list. After 25 minutes, I take a 3-5 minute break. I use these breaks to make a cup of coffee, check email, etc. In fact, I’m on a break right now. I’ve just completed my 6th Pomodoro of the day. (After 4 Pomodoros, you’re allowed a 15-30 minute break and that’s when I ate lunch). At first, I was distracted by the clicking timer but now it’s a pleasant background noise. Since starting the Pomodoro method two and a half weeks ago, I’ve edited a short story, completed another short story, and have made many edits to my novel, Jaded. If you’re an attentionally-challenged writer like me, I highly recommend the Pomodoro Method!