For others the reality is not so idyllic. They are perched on a stool in the Kitchen with a laptop while partner or children are in the lounge working or home schooling.
The combination of work colleague isolation and the constant distractions of family or fridge can be a recipe for stress.
how the humble tomato can help
The technique is called the Pomodoro technique. Pomodoro is Italian for tomato and he called it this after “borrowing” his mother's plastic tomato shaped kitchen timer.
the pomodoro technique
- Get the rest of the house occupants onside.
- Get all the equipment: laptop, paper, pens, notes etc ready
- Switch off all distractions, mobile, email pings, other non relevant programmes
- Work for twenty five minutes on one topic only and make as much progress on it as you can.
- Stop and take a break, physically get up and walk (to get a drink, go to the loo, talk with someone) for five minutes.
I have found this gets me to work effectively through small stuff (in box emails) to big stuff (developing leadership programmes for 45 managers).
break the task down
I can complete a lot in just the time period and it leaves me wanting to do more. If I have more space in my diary I will do another “Pomodoro”. Twenty five minutes is not too long to not be connected to emails or social media and similarly for work or home colleagues to leave you in peace.
If I have big tasks I am in danger of procrastinating. Starting off with a Pomodoro session breaks the task down and I can see progress and the momentum encourages me to progress the thing I have been resisting.
The five minute break is important.
It tells your brain that it will have a rest soon. There is something important about physically moving from your workspace to refresh body and mind. But five minutes is enough and then back to work, another focused Pomodoro session perhaps.
I know what you are thinking, where did my mom put the plastic tomato timer?
Well don’t worry, there is an app for that!