The month that has just passed was important for me for two reasons: I’ve got a 9 to 6 job and started the Pomodoro challenge. Moreover, I believe the 9 to 6 job timed really well with this challenge.
But I failed it! And I decided to fail it because it brings me a tremendous lack of focus.
What was this challenge about?
I had to work with Pomodoro every day for the whole November.
The Pomodoro’s purpose, at least from my point of view, is to decrease the multitasking and increase the efficiency. But for me it didn’t work.
On the first day of the month, I installed the Focus Keeper app and when I started using it for my first task, I didn’t even notice when the first block of time (25 minutes) has ended. On the second day happened the same, so I decided not to use it anymore.
I’m doing the job of a digital strategist, so my main activities are somehow like this:
- I manage the Facebook pages and blog of two projects – the main one has over 70 FB pages and the second one has two;
- I write around 2-3 blog posts / week for each project;
- I research creative ways to grow the database of subscribers and implement them;
- I develop strategies for advertising the projects’ services and products in order to increase sales.
I believe that’s it. These are my main activities and, believe me or not, a task from these activities can take me between two hours and two days. When I use Pomodoro to (hopefully) increase efficiency, I end up losing focus.
Why isn’t Pomodoro helping me do my job?
I forgot to mention, but the Pomodoro technique is about using blocks of time in order to refresh your memory and become more efficient at what you’re doing.
It goes like this:
- 25 minutes of work + 5 of break (repeat it for 4 times);
- 30-60 minutes of break;
If you are a passionate person (like I am, because I love the tasks of a digital strategist) you will find it weird to work with Pomodoro.
I forced it one day and tried the Pomodoro working schedule.
Guess what? I lost my focus and all the creativity provided by my subconscious vanished.
During my 3,000 words / day challenge, this April, I encountered the writer’s block. You can check the article here, with all my conclusions: [HOW-TO] Overcome the Writer’s Block and Work Efficiently.
One of them is specific about the way our subconscious thoughts are generating and feeding the creative process. But when we are using the conscious thoughts we are breaking the creative process and losing focus.
The same thing happened to me while using Pomodoro.
I start focusing and for around 20-22 minutes I’m really creative and focused. It takes me 3 to 5 minutes (I believe) to ignore anything that’s going on around me and pay attention to only one thing.
Then, suddenly, I have to stop the creative process (just because Pomodoro says that’s right) and take a 5-minute break.
Well, that’s dumb!
Why the fuck would I do that? Why would I stop my creative process just to take a break? Especially if I don’t need it.
Taking breaks is important but not this often
Refreshing thoughts in order to maintain the quality of work is really vital. But you won’t need to refresh your thoughts every 25 minutes.
Also, another upside of the breaks is related to taking care of your health. If you are working in an environment when you’re sitting down over 90% of your working hours or you’re staring at a monitor for the same amount period of time, then the breaks should be encouraged at least once every two hours.
If you really love what you’re doing, you won’t need Pomodoro
I believe this is just another technique for keeping lazy people engaged with their work, because really passionate people won’t need breaks.
Passionate people will actually hate the 5-minute break every 25 minutes of work.
If you want, you can take it as a test.
Use the Pomodoro Technique on something you’re doing often. If you can’t wait to take the breaks, then you’re not into what you’re doing.
If you don’t give a fuck about the breaks you’re supposed to take, then you’re on fire!
What’s the December challenge all about?
Well, when I’m writing this article is 7 in the morning and I’ve already done half of the challenge for today.
This month challenge was about 200 pushups every day. But doing a few last month I’ve discovered I have some back problems, and I decided to replace the pushups with squats.
Also, this month has a last day of Gratification because I believe I deserve it.
If you want to check my whole list of challenges for 2017, click here.
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With love and optimism,