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Those Who Don’t Feel Like Working Will Become More Productive After Reading This

Those Who Don’t Feel Like Working Will Become More Productive After Reading This

There are some days when you don’t feel like working, but you still want to do something. You want to be productive. You want to get things done. You want to feel accomplished!

The next time the “no-work bug” strikes, try these 12 ways of getting things done.

1. Rewrite or edit your to-do list.

When was the last time you took a long and hard look at your to-do list? It might be time for some much needed weeding! There might be items on your list that have already been completed and/or you don’t need to finish, and as such can be removed. Freshen and simplify your list to a bare minimum of tasks to be completed within the next day and week.

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2. Take some much needed exercise.

People often put off exercise in lieu of doing work or just normal everyday activities. There’s no time like the present to give your body and mind a break. Go for a run, do some yoga, take a walk, do some stretches, get moving! Alternatively, if you’ve had your eye on a new coed sports team in your town, do some online research and sign up.

3. Choose a juicy or satisfying reward for your work.

Make plans to reward yourself when you complete a landmark or special project at work. This could be as simple as spending some time pinning images of your dream wedding on Pinterest, taking a good soak in the tub, buying yourself and a friend tickets for that new movie you’ve been meaning to see, or booking a special romantic dinner for you and your loved one at a fancy restaurant.

4. Backup your computer or website files.

It’s always a good idea to have backups of all your files in case of an emergency or if your system(s) unexpectedly crash. You might even consider entering in regular backup sessions into your computer so you won’t forget about backing up data ever again.

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5. Organize your workspace.

Take a moment to declutter and clean up your desk area. File away those file folders that are laying around your desk, recycle papers you no longer need, delete old emails, organize your office supplies, clean out your office cabinet and so on.

6. Listen to uplifting music.

Unplug yourself from a frantic day and plug into some soothing tunes. Try classical, jazz, or instrumental music to refresh and raise your spirits. Close your eyes, relax and really listen to the music.

7. Call a friend.

You’ve been meaning to call one of your friends for a long time, why not take moment to reconnect? Pick up the phone, log on to Skype or Google Hangouts to find out what they’ve been up to and fill them in on what you’ve been working on as well.

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8. Prepare dinner ideas for this week.

Ah, another day, another dinner! Grab a notepad and pen and start jotting down ideas for this week’s dinners. You’ll have one less thing to worry about, plus you can easily create a list of items you’ll need to pick up from the grocery store.

9. Make sure your smartphone apps and computer software are up to date.

If you don’t already have automatic updates installed, set your apps and software to automatically update themselves. If apps or software have to be reinstalled or updated manually, take a minute to do so.

10. Remove 10 items from your closet.

You don’t have to pull 10 items per se, but choose a small number and stick to it. Look for clothes you haven’t worn in years, as well as clothes that no longer fit or are permanently soiled, stained or damaged.

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11. Brainstorm ideas for a new or current project.

Jot down, draw, or record ideas you have for a current or new project. Don’t worry about organizing or ranking your ideas, just let your thoughts flow.

12. Confirm appointments for later in the week.

Check your calendar and either call, email or text to confirm your appointments and meetings. Your contacts will thank you (maybe they need to reschedule a meeting?) and your schedule will be up to date.

Are you taking a break from work today? How are you going to be productive? Leave a comment below.

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Rashelle Isip

Blogger, Consultant, and Author

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right for You to Boost Productivity?

The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right for You to Boost Productivity?

If you spend any time at all researching life hacks, you’ve probably heard of the famous Pomodoro Technique.

Created in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro Technique is one of the more popular time management life hacks used today. But this method isn’t for everyone, and for every person who is a passionate adherent of the system, there is another person who is critical of the results.

Is the Pomodoro Technique right for you? It’s a matter of personal preference. But if you are curious about the benefits of using the technique, this article will break down the basic information you will need to decide if this technique is worth trying out.

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management philosophy that aims to provide the user with maximum focus and creative freshness, thereby allowing them to complete projects faster with less mental fatigue.

The process is simple:

For every project throughout the day, you budget your time into short increments and take breaks periodically.

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You work for 25 minutes, then take break for five minutes.

Each 25-minute work period is called a “pomodoro”, named after the Italian word for tomato. Francesco Cirillo used a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato as his personal timer, and thus the method’s name.

After four “pomodoros” have passed, (100 minutes of work time with 15 minutes of break time) you then take a 15-20 minute break.

Every time you finish a pomodoro, you mark your progress with an “X”, and note the number of times you had the impulse to procrastinate or switch gears to work on another task for each 25-minute chunk of time.

How the Pomodoro Technique boosts your productivity

Frequent breaks keep your mind fresh and focused. According to the official Pomodoro website, the system is easy to use and you will see results very quickly:

“You will probably begin to notice a difference in your work or study process within a day or two. True mastery of the technique takes from seven to twenty days of constant use.”

If you have a large and varied to-do list, using the Pomodoro Technique can help you crank through projects faster by forcing you to adhere to strict timing.

Watching the timer wind down can spur you to wrap up your current task more quickly, and spreading a task over two or three pomodoros can keep you from getting frustrated.

The constant timing of your activities makes you more accountable for your tasks and minimizes the time you spend procrastinating.

You’ll grow to “respect the tomato”, and that can help you to better handle your workload.

Successful people who love it

Steven Sande of The Unofficial Apple Weblog is a fan of the system, and has compiled a great list of Apple-compatible Pomodoro tools.

Before he started using the technique, he said,

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“Sometimes I couldn’t figure out how to organize a single day in my calendar, simply because I would jump around to all sorts of projects and never get even one of them accomplished.”

Another proponent of the Pomodoro Technique is Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street Journal. Shellenbarger tried out this system along with several other similar methods for time management, and said,

“It eased my anxiety over the passing of time and also made me more efficient; refreshed by breaks, for example, I halved the total time required to fact-check a column.”

Any cons for the Pomodoro Technique?

Despite the number of Pomodoro-heads out there, the system isn’t without its critics. Colin T. Miller, a Yahoo! employee and blogger, tried using the Pomodoro Technique and had some issues:[1]

“Pomodoros are an all or nothing affair. Either you work for 25 minutes straight to mark your X or you don’t complete a pomodoro. Since marking that X is the measurable sign of progress, you start to shy away from engaging in an activity if it won’t result in an X. For instance…meetings get in the way of pomodoros. Say I have a meeting set for 4:30pm. It is currently 4:10pm, meaning I only have 20 minutes between now and the meeting…In these instances I tend to not start a pomodoro because I won’t have enough time to complete it anyway.”

Another critic is Mario Fusco, who argues that the Pomodoro Technique is…well…sort of ridiculous:[2]

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“Aren’t we really able to keep ourselves concentrated without a timer ticketing on our desk?… Have you ever seen a civil engineer using a timer to keep his concentration while working on his projects?… I think that, like any other serious professional, I can stay concentrated on what I am doing for hours… Bring back your timer to your kitchen and start working in a more professional and effective way.”

Conclusion

One of the best things about the Pomodoro Technique is that it’s free. Yeah, you can fork over some bills to get a tomato-shaped timer if you want… or you can use any timer program on your computer or phone. So even if you try it and hate it, you haven’t lost any cash.

The process isn’t ideal for every person, or in any line of work. But if you need a systematic way to tackle your daily to-do list, the Pomodoro Technique may fit your needs.

If you want to learn more about the Pomodoro Technique, check out this article: How to Make the Pomodoro Technique More Productive

Reference

[1] Aspirations of a Software Developer: A Month of the Pomodoro Technique
[2] InfoQ: A Critique of the Pomodoro Technique

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