How to stop procrastinating: The Pomodoro Technique
Procrastination is one of the top productivity struggles many of us face on a daily basis. It has a way of rearing its ugly head whenever an important task is to be completed. Many will admit to experiencing this initial mental resistance to beginning a task; however, once you get over it, you can get into a flow and work really intensely for a long period of time. The problem in getting over that mental resistance is really tough and more often than not, we opt to do something easier, like check our emails and browse social media. The number one technique for getting over this problem is the Pomodoro technique.
The Pomodoro technique is simple and easy to remember. Here's how you do it:
1. Pick a task to work on - just one. No multitasking, it's less productive.
2. Work only on that task for 25 minutes - put your phone on 'do not disturb' and focus all your attention on that particular task.
3. Make note of distractions - this part is key. Whenever you think of another task that you need to work on or something you'd rather be doing, write it down on a piece of paper next to you.
4. Take a five-minute break, repeat steps 1-3 three more times, and then take a longer break before starting again. Use your break to stretch, get a drink of water, or take a short walk. Regular breaks make you healthier and more productive.
Why is the Pomodoro Technique effective?
1. It turns large tasks that are quite intimidating and overbearing into bite-size pieces that are more doable.
2. It gets distractions out of your mind. Making note of distractions gets them out of your mind and severs the connection between a craving for distraction and acting on that craving. Over time, this trains your ability to focus.
3. It externalises discipline. Using a timer takes that burden off of you and places it on an external machine.
Recommended Pomodoro Apps For IOS and Android:
- Tide: A free app that combines a Pomodoro timer with ambient noise or your favourite music.
- Forest: Similar to Tide, but allows you to track your progress through the planting of trees or flowers.