The average American woman spends 15% of her waking hours on household activities. Another 27% of her day is spent working, and that’s not to mention caring for family, eating and self-care. How do we juggle it all? Personally, I’m a big fan of the Pomodoro Technique. I’ve found that time blocking makes for efficient productivity, and allows me to make time for my side hustle, blogging.
Give Your Mind Frequent Breaks
In a fast-paced, information-heavy world, it’s important to give our minds the breaks that they so desperately need. This is the key to productivity using the Pomodoro Technique. The technique itself is to work with intense focus for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break. You can sustain this for about 2 hours, then it’s time for a longer break (10 minutes or more).
These breaks throughout your total time working help you to avoid burnout. During your 5- or 10-minute breaks, you can meditate, take a quick walk, read a few pages of a book, or refill your coffee and enjoy it for a few minutes. The idea is to rest your mind and spend a bit of time away from your work.
During the 25 minutes of focused work, however, that is exactly what should be done: intensely-focused work.
Knowing that you have only 25 minutes to complete as much work as you possibly can before your next break creates a sense of urgency. I put my phone on do not disturb, turn email notifications off and eliminate as many other distractions as possible so I can put all of my energy into the task at hand. I even block out time each week to plan for the next week so I can go into each day prepared and knowing exactly what I will be doing during my 25-minute Pomodoros.
Use a Timer
I’m a big fan of the Tomato Timer. It’s a free web-based timer that was built specifically to be used with the Pomodoro Technique. The automatic settings are for 25-minute Pomodoros, 5-minute short breaks and 10-minute long breaks, but it’s also all totally customizable to whatever works best for you.
Get Things Done
I make time for my side hustle (this website!) using the Pomodoro Technique. On top of the 40 hours I work each week at my 9-5, I typically put about 10 hours or less into website work weekly. I have a carefully-planned schedule Monday-Friday from 5:00-7:00 AM. This time is broken out into Pomodoro blocks between blog post planning, writing, graphic design, editing, social media, weekly newsletter and learning.
It’s been working for me for years . . . if you’ve never tried the Pomodoro Technique, it’s worth giving it a shot!
Make Time for Your Side Hustle
Using the “Tomato Timer,” and carefully planning my time blocks, I am able to effectively use my time to my greatest advantage. I give my mind the breaks it needs to stay sharp and intensely focus on the task at hand for a short period to get everything done that I want and need to.
What do you think? Will the Pomodoro Technique work in your life?
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