Hack Time and the Ticking Clock
Writing a story takes time
It’s easy to get caught up in other activities that seem just as important as the story writing itself, like notes and research or making more coffee.
The Pomodoro Technique of managing yourself and your time is a great and simple solution to making sure you write those words. It also empowers you to focus more, to get the ideas rolling and it puts a little positive pressure into the game.
Using the Pomodoro Technique is so simple it’s easy to think it’s just another Hack that is doing the rounds.
It works, millions of writers and busy people say so.
There’s even a Pomodoro website where you can get the book and read about its uses.
All you need is a task and a timer, like an egg-timer or the one on your mobile phone; so long as it will sound off a signal at the end of your allotted time.
Choose your task, maybe a scene or chapter to be worked on.
Set the timer for 25 minutes
Work on the task as normal until the timer sounds
Take a 5 minute break
During the break make sure you do something totally different to the task. Don’t think about it or mull it over in your head. It’s a break.
5 minutes for a break is plenty and after several Pomodoro work periods, you will notice how important it is to stick to the five minute break and not longer.
Who Invented the Pomodoro Technique?
Francesco Cirillo came up with the idea in 1992 when he was having problems studying. He invented the simple technique to increase the effectiveness of his work. His website is packed with ideas about the technique and is worth a visit and a bookmark
Positive Challenge verses Negative Pressure
We try many techniques and ideas to keep us on the short and narrow with our tasks but the Pomodoro Technique is the real deal. It works.
After trying it once, I was hooked and use it all of the time. I combine it with my own thoughts on Procrastination, too.
The Benefits of a Five minute Break
There’s a really good reason why we should take 5 minutes break only. It avoids the temptation of drifting away from the task, any longer and you are in danger of letting your mind become focused on something just as important as your writing. Then, twenty five minutes later you’ll realise that you’ve missed you cue to start working on your fiction writing again.
Timers and Counting Tomatoes
You can use a timer that you have on your mobile phone. It’s really important that it rings or buzzes or something like that at the end of each session. If you really want to get “Pomodoro” about it, you can order a Tomato Timer here. They look pretty cool, actually.
This is a fit-all Technique. Most people who try it discover that it’s so simple and so logical they can use it for everything they do. especially when you have several tasks to accomplish.
Production goes up and energy output is lessened.
I’ve also noticed that it works wonders for people (like myself) who suffer from back aches. The 5 minute breaks give the back muscles an opportunity to move around and get some new blood flow moving.