During the month of April, I am trying out the Pomodoro Technique to see if it will improve my productivity. The Pomodoro Technique uses period of working and rest to help improve one’s productivity. Last week, I was able to do this technique for four out of the five workdays. This week, my goal is to do poms all five days, get several books read, and start figuring out a loose schedule of when I will do my various tasks such as writing blog posts, writing on my book, and looking for and doing freelance work.
Monday, April 16
I knew my afternoon would be busy today, so when I got home from dropping Reid off at work, I set right to work. I have some blog posts to get at least started, and another book I need to finish.
First pom (7:00-7:25): wrote and scheduled a book review
Break (7:25-7:30): replied to messages
Second pom (7:30-7:55): worked on a blog post
Break (7:55-8:00): social media
Third pom (8:00-8:25): continued working on the blog post
Break (8:25-8:30): social media
Fourth pom (8:30-8:55): got the blog post finished and scheduled; worked on this post
Long break (8:55-9:25): bathroom, started some meal prep
Fifth pom (9:25-9:50): started reading The Sky Drifter
Break (9:50-9:55): got meal prep out of the oven, put it in containers
Sixth pom (9:55-10:20): read The Sky Drifter
Break (10:20-10:25): checked messages
Seventh pom (10:25-10:50): read The Sky Drifter
Break (10:50-10:55): browsed Goodreads
Eighth pom (10:55-11:20): read The Sky Drifter
Long break (11:20-11:50): bathroom, changed, gathered workout clothes for Reid, continued meal prepping
Ninth pom (11:50-12:15): finished meal prepping while reading The Sky Drifter, cleaned up the kitchen
After the ninth pom, I left and met a friend for lunch and errands. After Reid got off work, we worked out. Then we came home, showered, and I made dinner. I spent the rest of the evening reading the The Sky Drifter.
Tuesday, April 17
I knew today was going to be another short day, so once again I jumped right into my work as soon as I got home from dropping Reid off.
First pom (7:00-7:25): wrote a book review
Break (7:25-7:30): replied to messages
Second pom (7:30-7:55): scheduled the book review, started working on another post
Break (7:55-8:00): social media, messages
Third pom (8:00-8:25): research for blog post, talking to upcoming guest bloggers
Break (8:25-8:30): social media
Fourth pom (8:30-8:55): writing/researching for blog post
Long break (8:55-9:25): switched out the laundry, fed the cats, made a snack
Fifth pom (9:25-9:50): read some stuff related to blog post I’m writing
Break (9:50-9:55): refreshed my mind
Sixth pom (9:55-10:20): worked on this post, then went back to the other post
Break (10:20-10:25): social media
Seventh pom (10:25-10:50): continued working on the other blog post
After the seventh pomodoro, I changed into my workout clothes and met my husband on base for lunch and our workout. During lunch, I read my next book, Finding You. After our workout, we came home and showered. I kept reading, warmed up leftovers for dinner, and spent the evening focused finishing Finding You. Today was hard with focusing, because the blog post I was working most of the morning was a difficult one to write. I wanted to make sure I was saying what is true and right. I was also monitoring responses to a post that went live today, so that took up a lot of my time.
Wednesday, April 18
Today is a duty day, so my schedule is a little different. I’ve designated duty days as my major chore days. This is the day I’ll grocery shop, meal prep, fold laundry, clean the litterboxes, and do any other time consuming thing that needs to be done. Because I don’t have to have a specific bedtime (it’s harder to get to sleep on duty days anyway) and I have the house to myself for the whole evening, this is when I choose to do major chores, because it means the least amount of interruption to my work day.
So, because of that, after dropping Reid off at work, I head straight for the grocery store. There’s a cute little market less than five minutes from our house that opens at 6 am, so I don’t have to break up my productivity by going home until the store opens. I grab a couple things we’ll need for the coming week and I’m in and out in less than fifteen minutes. Then, I set to work with meal prep. From about 7:15 until 10 am, I run the dishwasher, prepare several different meals (salads, beef and broccoli with rice, and beef ribs with zucchini), clean the kitchen, unload and reload the dishwasher, start it again, and make myself a cup of coffee and breakfast. All the while, I listen to several podcast episodes. Prepping all of these meals ahead of time ensures less messes in the kitchen, fewer daily dishes, and that we will always have a healthy dinner, even when I am too tired to cook (or it’s the weekend and I just don’t want to cook). I do also plan on prepping breakfasts later tonight. All in all, a very productive morning. At 10 am, I start my Pomodoros.
First pom (10:00-10:25): worked on a blog post
Break (10:25-10:30): replied to messages
Second pom (10:30-10:55): continued working on and scheduled the blog post
Break (10:55-11:00): replied to messages, social media
Third pom (11:00-11:25): worked on a book book review
Break (11:25-11:30): social media
Fourth pom (11:30-11:55): scheduled the book review, worked on this post
Long break (11:55-12:25): Starbucks run (there’s a Starbucks that’s less than ten minutes away, it’s a double star day, and my amazing in-laws sent me a gift card because my whole family continues to condone and encourage my coffee addiction, which is fine by me! 😉 ) and heating up lunch
Fifth pom (12:25-12:50): read The Roar
Break (12:50-12:55): checked messages
Sixth pom (12:55-1:20): continued reading The Roar
Break (1:20-1:25): cleaned up lunch dishes
Seventh pom (1:25-1:50): continued reading The Roar
Eighth pom (1:55-2:20): continued reading The Roar
Break (2:20-2:25): Since I have to leave soon, I skipped this long break and just made it a short one
Ninth pom (2:25-2:50): continued reading The Roar
After the ninth pomodoro, I fed the cats and filled up their water dishes. I helped Reid do a food run and then took him back to work. When I came home, I finished The Roar, and then went to sleep.
Thursday, April 19
Today is a “day after duty” day. That means my schedule is off from what it normally is. I don’t sleep as well on duty nights, so I slept in a little bit and started my day off slowly. I used Pomodoros to start reading a new book, The Whisper, using Pomodoros, of course. After picking up my husband from work, I spent the rest of the day with him.
Friday, April 20
Today was a little different. I did some reading in the morning using Pomodoros. I spent the rest of the day with a friend, running errands and then later having a girl’s night. All in all, a great day, a great start to my weekend, and a good deviation from the norm.
Week Three Takeaways
I had a day or two this week where I struggled to focus. I utilized the five minute breaks to step back, refresh, and refocus. If I continued struggling, I found a new or different task to do to give myself something fresh to look at. Also, on the day after duty, I let myself have a slower morning, and used that day to do some more relaxed tasks, like focusing on getting through a book.
Overall, I am really liking the way this technique helps me stay on task, even on days when I am not as focused. It also has helped me get more done on shorter days, when I would normally feel like I don’t have enough time to get anything done. There is always time to get something done.