Focus on being productive rather than ‘busy’ using the Pomodoro® technique.

I’m writing this on a day when I spent two and a half hours on the phone on hold with HMRC (for my international friends, the HMRC is the UK tax office).

The worst bit—the automated voice that kept saying ‘please bear with me’.. ARGGHHH

Anyway, that stupidly long phone call brings me to the point of this post—to focus on being productive, not busy.

See, I only had few hours left to focus after I eventually get through… That’s ok though, because who can do real DEEP work for longer than that anyway?

Who didn’t dream of a four-hour work week after reading Tim Ferriss back in the day?

While Tim’s four-hour work week might be unattainable for most of us, for me, a block of four short working sessions of 25 minutes each, plus 5 minute breaks can be so much more productive than an entire day spent being ‘busy’.

This technique is something that I’ve used successfully in my writing groups and courses for years and I find it great for working on my own too.

It helps me focus on what really needs to get done and on getting the hard stuff done first.

Oh, and it means I have time for a short nap in the afternoon.

In fact, I am a firm believer that an 8-hour working day is unnecessary and that nobody should work for more than 4 hours.

You may have heard of Francesco Cirillo and his Pomodoro technique (so named after the tomato timer Cirillo uses). He recommends working for 15-minute bursts with 5 minutes in between and a longer break after every four sessions.

The short video below shows how you can use the system to time block your entire day.

Try it out!

To try this technique out with your writing, set your timer for 25 minutes and just write. Don’t do anything else in this time (no checking your messages, ‘researching’ online..)

After 5 minutes take a short break and have a stretch. Then dive right back in. After four short writing bursts, take a longer break. Comment below and let me know how you get on!

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