I am officially a convert to the Pomodoro technique.
I never thought that my problem with focusing was about time – once I really get into the groove of things, I can work nonstop for hours without noticing – but rather about the multitasking I grew up with. It was a necessity in high school when friends were texting me about the chemistry assignment but I needed to edit someone’s paper and review notes for the next day’s history test. I developed the habit of checking my texts, my Twitter, my blog stats, etc. during my writing time whenever I hit a lull that lasted more than a few seconds. Doing these small things gave me a minor boost of feeling productive – I answered a friend’s question! I communicated effectively! I gained a follower! – but often also served as distractions when I really should have been focusing on getting words down.
That, I think, is why Pomodoro works for me. If I can’t get in the groove of writing, I can certainly slog along for a limited amount of time if I know a set break is coming. Then I’m reminded to get back to work when that break is over, and I still have the sense of accomplishment my little tasks gave me because the app I use tallies how many pomodoroes I’ve completed that day.
I used Pomodroido for Android (Apple products hate me), but I know there are other apps, or just the original option of a simple kitchen timer.
What time management/distraction eliminating techniques have worked for you? Let me know in the comments!