If there's one thing people all over the world can mutually understand since the global events of 2020, it's the act of working from home. People have had to adapt and adjust their working lives and reimagine their living spaces as their new office.
Luckily, we are able to invest in accessories such as the Ultra-Wide LED Desk Lamp to help set up our home offices, and ergonomic chairs such as Autonomous' Ergo 2 to make our living environment more comfortable to work in. Despite this, however, some of us still might struggle to feel as motivated when we're not actually in the office.
In an office environment, it is easier to stay motivated, bounce ideas off of co-workers and maintain a 'professional' structure. When we're at home, we don't have all of these things at our disposal.
There is a technique, however, that has been widely recognized as being productive in combating this: the Pomodoro Technique.
Developed in the 1980s, the Pomodoro Technique is a time management method by Francesco Cirillo. The purpose is to keep people focused and working to time constraints to improve productivity.
There are six steps to follow in the original technique:
1. Decide on what task it is you want to accomplish.
2. Set a timer (a pomodoro) for 25 minutes
3. Get to work on the task.
4. Finish the work when the timer rings and make a digital or physical note (checkmark)
5. Allow yourself a short 3-5-minute break.
6. After you have made 4 checkmarks, allow yourself a longer break (15-30 minutes) and reset your checkmark count to zero.
Here, we will look at the ways in which applying the Pomodoro method can help you to stay focused and maintain your productivity when working from home.
No more multi-tasking
Multi-tasking is something that we all do, especially now that we have access to many different kinds of activities in one go. But it can also be part of our downfall when we cannot focus on the most important task at hand.
The Pomodoro Technique essentially stops your likelihood of multi-tasking. When you are focused on one thing, and following a strict time constraint to complete it, your brain tends to wander a lot less.
The reward of having short breaks after each individual task will mean you are looking forward to something - rather than continuously allowing your focus to indulge in various different things.
Kill multiple birds in one stone
The best thing about the Pomodoro Technique is that you can bundle lots of small tasks together in one allocated time slot. This way, things that take minimal amounts of time can be accomplished in one go - meaning you'll feel even more productive at the end of each one.
For these kinds of tasks, try putting together easy-to-do things - such as catching up on emails, or reading articles.
Awareness of your time
When you're focusing much more on completing tasks within a time constraint, you're a lot more aware of where your time is going. The Pomodoro Technique will give you a lot more time awareness thanks to each allocated slot.
You will find that with each pomodoro break, your relationship with time becomes less negative and more positive. Instead of seeing each task as anxiety-inducing, you begin to see them as productive and rewarding.
Your knowledge of where your time goes throughout the working day will help you to plan and prepare each day, making best use of the time that you have.
Make productivity a game
With each pomodoro approach that you complete, you have an opportunity to vastly improve upon the one before that.
Because this technique is less about perfection and more about consistency, each session provides a fresh opportunity to set new goals for yourself. See each pomodoro that you face as a game, and challenge yourself to complete tasks that are bigger than normal.
Also, why not try completing a few tasks whilst standing as an extra challenge? Autonomous' standing desks, such as the Smart Desk 2, are perfect for keeping you feeling productive and alert throughout each task.
If you set yourself mini-challenges like this, you'll be smashing goals and feeling on top of all the work you're doing.
Overcoming writer's block
A lot of us feel unmotivated and struggle to get into the rhythm of working because we are afraid to fail. We're less likely to take on a new challenge or task if we think it is destined to be bad. This is commonly known as writer's block; and it affects more people than you might think.
The Pomodoro Technique is one of the best ways to overcome writer's block. By shrinking down our tasks into consumable, 25-minute time slots we feel less afraid to fail and more motivated to get started.
In doing this, we become less overwhelmed and stunted by the amount of work we have to do, and instead we feel more comfortable by taking on smaller sized tasks.
Alongside the Pomodoro Technique, there are also other ways to overcome writer's block.
In conclusion, working from home is a big challenge for many people to overcome. We might be able to make our home surroundings comfortable - and even ergonomic - but that doesn't mean we're going to instantly find it easy to work in those surroundings.
Applying the Pomodoro Technique is a good way to push yourself to do the work you need to do, without becoming totally overwhelmed and frustrated.
A lot of us don't realize how much we rely on the structure of our workplace to keep us completing tasks, so by implementing a method that allows us to abide by a do-able schedule, we're giving ourselves much more of a chance to succeed every day.
The upcoming SmartDesk 4 helps you use the Pomodoro technique to schedule your daily routine with a built-in app! Stay tuned on our blog and website to get the latest updates.
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