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08 Mar

How many tomatoes can you get in a row?

Datum: 2023-03-08 10:00
Tomato shaped kitchen timer on a black, shiny counter top.

Today I am address­ing those who post­pone and pro­cras­ti­nate our tasks to the very last minute. I also turn to you who for­get to take breaks, and who works hard and focused until you lit­er­al­ly col­lapse, or at least take your eye of the screen after a few hours of intense work and won­der where time went, feel­ing slight­ly con­fused and lightheaded.

Since I have per­son­al­ly done most of the struc­ture-mis­takes I write and talk about, I include myself in both categories.

For you who pre­fer lis­ten­ing to read­ing, this post is also avail­able as an episode of the Done!” pod­cast:

Fly­ing instead of fleeing

Some­times when I need to write some­thing, every­thing but writ­ing begs for my atten­tion and I find it hard to get going. But at oth­er times I fall into an amaz­ing flow and the hours just rush by, and I for­get to rest, eat, drink and stretch my legs.

Francesco Cir­il­lo was expe­ri­enc­ing these ups and downs towards the end of the 80s’ as well, and decid­ed to do some exper­i­ment­ing on what would be his ide­al work-rhythm. The result of his test­ing and tri­als is nowa­days known as the Pomodoro-method. It is aston­ish­ing­ly simple:

🍅 Work for 25 min­utes, then rest for 5 min­utes. Set an alarm for 25 min­utes and 5 min­utes after that so that you do not have to keep track of time.

The whole point of using this pat­tern is that you force” your­self to work with con­cen­tra­tion for at least 25 min­utes with what­ev­er you have been post­pon­ing, and it also reminds you to take reg­u­lar breaks if you are inclined to for­get­ting these impor­tant intermissions.

Do this

If you feel like try­ing the method:

  1. Decide on how you will keep track of time. Some sug­ges­tions are:
  2. Try it. Set the timer for 25 min­utes. Then have a 5 min­utes break when the alarm sounds.
  3. Do at least one Pomodoro” more (mean­ing, do anoth­er 25 min­utes of work) and then have anoth­er break.
  4. How did it feel? If you approve of the method, sim­ply con­tin­ue prac­tic­ing it. If not, then do what you feel most com­fort­able doing — either con­tin­ue with your nor­mal rhythm or adjust your ordi­nary rhythm and method some­how. As we all know, not every­thing suits everyone.

Fol­low the flow!

If you work accord­ing to the Pomodoro-method, you will remem­ber to take breaks at reg­u­lar inter­vals so that you are not quite as exhaust­ed as usu­al at the end of the day. If you are inclined to drift off and lose focus on what you real­ly need to do right now, the Pomodoro-method will help you remain focused on one task at a time — at least for 25 min­utes (assum­ing that you have closed your door and turned every­thing off that might dis­tract you, that is). 

Using it might very well have oth­er pos­i­tive con­se­quences for you, but what those are will be yours to find out. After all, you sim­ply have to test and try it for yourself.

What did you think?

Do you use the Pomodoro-method? What dif­fer­ence has it made for you? Tell me!

A letter slot in an elegant, yellow, wooden door. In the slot sits a rolled up magazine.

If you want more tips on how to create good structure at work, there are many ways to get that from me - in podcasts, videos, books, talks and other formats.

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