Work While You Work 2

13 January 2010, by A. Cedilla

While the goal tracker mentioned in part one teaches you to focus on the activities that are directly linked to your most important, vital outcomes (the actions that will bring you the most bang for your buck) the method mentioned in this second part is a concentration aid.

The Pomodoro technique teaches you to manage your mental environment, a difficult thing to do in these split-focus, multi-tasking modern days.

To move in this time we are taught to dart our attention all over the place, looking at the shiny, the relentless, the most strident, the terribly, terribly IN-terr-esting.

The long-term effect? We keep needing more and more stimulation to push through our desensitized filters, and this drains us even as we develop a craving to the speed at which the stimuli comes at us, leading to a vicious circle.

To practice the Pomodoro technique then, would be quite uncomfortable until you get used to what it demands of you. It may take a while to realize the value of this mental training, but the results will pay out, as soon as you truly get it, and over a life-time.

While the tools mentioned in a previous post on GTD are more on finding, settling on and setting up a system to help you get things done, Pomodoro is primarily a mental training, a re-visioning of focus that instills a new learned behavior.

You just prepare simple tools — a novelty timer, pen and paper — and then use nothing else but your mind. Easy to say, jittery-painful to do, and this is from experience.

The more you practice, the more you’ll notice just how fast your monkey-mind gets bored and pokes to go look, oh, over there, need to go to the bathroom, wow, some coffee would go down well right about now, I’m starrrving, so starving….Solitaire, my old friend!

See? If you don’t, go check it out for yourself. They even have a handy cheat sheet, like Pomodoro-on-a-page, to help you. Once you push through the discomfort, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results.

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