I have always been a very creative person, but I have always struggled to be productive. When I work from home, instead of working I often do other things. I can fall into a bad habit of putting off assignments until the night before they are due. I have tried to address this problem with little success.
I have read on the internet that using the Pomodoro technique is one way to overcome procrastination and achieve more. The Pomodoro technique was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. It involves getting a timer and working for 25 minutes, and then taking a five minute break. Repeat this cycle until you finish your work for the day.
Firstly, I downloaded the pomodoro app on my iPhone. I was able to start using it right away, and it comes with several different timers. I prefer the general purpose timer. It lets you set the number of time intervals (pomodoros) you want to work at a time, which is great because not all work is equal and we don’t all have the same amount of time during our workday.
The app also has a countdown timer and a stopwatch function which come in handy as well.
Once I set the timer and started working, it was hard to resist checking my phone or social media accounts. Checking those apps became a positively reinforcing cycle for me where I would waste time and then feel guilty about wasting time and then check those apps as a reward for spending time on them. Checking those accounts caused me to waste time even faster than I already was wasting it, so I had to stop myself from doing it entirely to make any progress with the Pomodoro technique.
What I did instead was to use a website blocker to prevent me from going back to those websites to waste time. The website blocker I used is called LeechBlock and it can block specific websites or any website that matches a keyword from being accessed. To get around this, you have to wait a certain amount of time until it lets you access those sites again. It’s not that long though – something like 30 seconds – so it’s not too intrusive or annoying either. The website blocker really helped me focus on my work and not succumb to keeping up with what everyone else was up to on social media.
The second part of the Pomodoro technique is to take a break after each 25-minute session. During this break, I usually go outside for a walk, but other people will find other ways to relax. After each break, I found that I was actually more ready to dive back into my work than before, so I could go longer without taking a break after that first one. That’s why there is no real limit on how long you can work, as long as you take regular breaks as recommended by Cirillo’s method.
Overall, I found the Pomodoro technique to be very effective for my productivity while working from home. My goal after applying it was to increase my daily productivity by 50%, and I reached that goal in only five days by applying this technique each day. Now if I want to work from home, I use the Pomodoro technique to make sure that I am productive rather than wasting my time on anything else!