If you’ve ever wanted to become more focused, this video shares one of my favorite techniques for accomplishing just that. (Transcription below video.)
Remember that feeling of excitement and being in control that we talked about earlier? Sit with that feeling, and think about this: what would it feel like to know your peers looked to you as a role model when it came to getting stuff done?
Imagine shutting down on a Friday evening completely at peace with what you’d accomplished during the week, ready to enjoy a well-deserved break?
Do you want to know the secret to achieving that? It’s focus, my friend. Maintaining a laser focus on what needs to be done when it needs to be done.
For years, colleagues have told me how I can accomplish more than most because of my ability to focus. Now, before you think I’m special, please note—I know there are traces of ADHD in my DNA. Squirrels distract me all the time. But the ability to regain that sense of focus is what brings me success.
Focus is going to be one of the four main components to my upcoming time mastery course. So tell me: How would you like to experience that focus for yourself?
When I spoke about using the timer in our last video, I promised to share one of my favorite time mastery tools. You want to know what it is? The tomato.
Well, more specifically, the Pomodoro—a 25-minute kitchen timer.
You can learn more about the background of the Pomodoro technique at pomodorotechnique.com, but I’m going to skip over that and tell you how it works.
- Estimate how long it takes you to complete a task. A 50-minute task equals two pomodoros
- Set a timer for 25 minutes and work only on that task until the timer rings.
- Reward yourself with five minutes doing whatever recharges your batteries: listen to music, browse the web, take a walk.
- Get back to it for another 25 minutes.
- The task is done.
The secret to making this work for you is removing distractions as well as learning to estimate the necessary time.
Now, here’s the deal: once you get in the zone—about 20 minutes into your first pomodoro—you won’t want to stop. But when the timer dings—STOP! Your break and the reward is a vital part of the strategy. Without it, burnout is inevitable, and for a lot of us, burnout means quitting.
Maybe you’re saying, “sure, Kendra. That sounds great, but it won’t work for me. I have needy kids/a dog/a demanding boss/phone calls/fill in the blank.”
I hear you. I really do. I have two demanding kids and a phone that blows up with texts and notifications. That’s why you want to be strategic about when you plan your “pomodoro time.” For me, that means setting the kids up with engaging activities or putting them down for naps first. It means ignoring all text tones except the ones from my husband.
For you, it might mean working out a plan with your boss or subordinates, blocking out time in your schedule, or giving the dog a treat.
The pomodoro might feel uncomfortable the first time or two. That’s okay. As with most things in life, you might need to ease into it. But don’t give up. Find a friend who wants to master her time, as well, and be a team. Reach out to me in the comments. Share with this group. If time mastery is something you want, it’s worth the initial tension.
For me, it’s like lifting weights. Working out is one of my least favorite things to do, and I dread it every day. But after I finish the routine and am lying in a puddle of sweat on the floor, I know it’s going to be a good day. I did what I needed to do and now I can conquer the rest.
In the next video I’ll be sharing some secrets for getting unstuck when you’ve lost your forward momentum. For now, let me know any questions you have and how I can help you accomplish your time mastery goals. Reach out to the group. We are all better together.