Trying the Pomodoro Technique: Week Two

Last week, I shared that I am experimenting with using the Pomodoro Technique this month. This is productivity technique that alternates periods of time of being productive (Pomodoros) and taking a break. Last week due to sickness and a short week, I only got two days of Pomodoros in. But those were some seriously productive days! It was encouraging to see that how I’ve imagined my days going is absolutely possible. I just need to get my nose to the grindstone.

This week I got more days of Pomodoros in, and was encouraged by what I saw as a result. I experimented with using Pomodoros for more than just writing times, but for reading and housework times as well.

Monday, April 9

Today, I did a dumb. I did not use any Pomodoros. I did some reading and got some stuff done around the house. But I was exhausted from a crazy weekend and lacked the focus I needed. When I got to the end of the day I felt discouraged and guilty, knowing that if I had just buckled down and turned that timer on, I would have been able to refocus and get things done.

Tuesday, April 10

Today was great for productivity. I had a lot that needed to be done, but I knew that using the Pomodoros would help me do it. Before settling in to work, I spent some time waking up and planning out what needed to be done for the day.

First Pom (9:00-9:25): worked on WWW post
Break (9:25-9:30): browsed social media
Second Pom (9:30-9:55): got the WWW post scheduled, started on the podcast post
Break (9:55-10:00): browsed social media, bathroom
Third Pom (10:00-10:25): worked on podcast post
Break (10:25-10:30): browsed social media, played referee for my cats
Fourth Pom (10:30-10:55): worked on and scheduled podcast post
Long Break (10:55-11:25): showered and made lunch
Fifth Pom (11:25-11:50): worked on this post, started working on another draft
Break (11:50-11:55): talked to husband, browsed Pinterest for recipes for Bible study
Sixth Pom (11:55-12:20): continued working on draft/new post
Break (12:20-12:25): yeah, social media
Seventh Pom (12:25-12:50): reading! / worked on this post
Break (12:50-12:55): made a shopping list
Eighth Pom (12:55-1:20): more reading

After I finished my eighth pomodoro, I headed to the grocery store. I had to made a dessert for Bible study tonight and I needed a couple more ingredients (plus some things to hold us over until I could do a full grocery trip). Once I got home, while listening to podcasts, I whipped up some gluten and dairy free cookies, and while they baked I cleaned the kitchen. After picking up Reid, I made dinner. We had Bible study at 6:30, after which I read until bedtime.

Wednesday, April 11

I did a good number of pomodoros today. I didn’t write down what I did during each, because today was a straight reading day. I assume I don’t have to say “I read a book” twelve times for you to get the idea. đŸ˜€ I made a lot of good progress on one of my active reads. This was encouraging because I’m really behind on reading right now and I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump. Doing the pomodoros definitely helped me stay focused and on task today.

Thursday, April 12

Once again, I used pomodoros to read today. I read The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton from start to finish! It was broken up by going to work out with my husband, showering after our workout, and making dinner. Tomorrow will be a little busier, but I should still manage to get a lot done.

Friday, April 13

Today is both a duty day as well life group night. I have a lot to do today, and I will be using pomodoros to do most of it. I am going to try to squeeze in a short workout as well, but we’ll see how things go with time.

First Pom (8:22-8:47): Read Just So Stories
Break (8:47-8:52): browsed social media, texted people back
Second Pom (8:52-9:17): Read Just So Stories
Break (9:17-9:22): browsed social media
Third Pom (9:22-9:47): Read Just So Stories, worked on this post and book reviews
Break (9:47-9:52): social media, watched my cats go insane
Fourth Pom (9:52-10:17): worked on book reviews
Long Break (10:17-10:47): changed litterboxes, fed and watered cats, started making cookies
Fifth Pom (10:47-11:12): got cookies in the oven, worked on book reviews
Break (11:12-11:17): got cookies out of oven, messaged with  husband
Sixth Pom (11:17-11:42): worked on book reviews

After the sixth pom, I go grocery shopping, do some reading, and then head for the on base gym. After working out, I pick up Reid, help him run some errands and then take him back to work. After showering, I head for Life Group. After Life Group, I watch some Netflix and then head to bed.

Week Two Takeaways

I got some great suggestions for how to handle my “day after duty” routine that I will be implementing in this coming week. I also realized that, even though I have great focus when I am reading, it really helps to continue doing poms. This is especially true on designated straight reading days. Getting exercise in at some point each day is very helpful, but it’s definitely best done at the beginning or end of the day (or both). All in all, I came out of this week feeling satisfied with how much I had gotten done.

Now that I’ve established that using pomodoros improve my productivity, I will be spending the next couple of weeks establishing a loose schedule for what days I do certain things such as focusing primarily on reading, writing certain types of blog posts, writing on my book, or working on the project I alluded to last week. I also need to get more caught up on my pacing for my reading goals.

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