Sometimes, it can be hard to get going on a task. You might be battling motivation (in that you can't find the motivation you need to start), procrastination, distraction, or all of these at once. Sometimes, the feeling of challenge can shift from the getting-going-of-it to the keeping-at-it. The Pomodoro Technique can be a useful tool in this situation. The "Pomodoro" is the length of time spent on the task, a 25 minute interval.

Here's the gist of how it works (for more information, follow the above link, or visit the Pomodoro Wikipedia page):
  • You decide what you need to work on - maybe it's a school project, a personal project, something for someone else...
  • You find a timer and set it for 25 minutes.
  • You get to work! You keep at your task for the entire 25 minutes. If a distraction pops up you write it down and get back to the task at hand. THIS IS IMPORTANT: write your distraction down. And then leave it behind.
  • When the timer rings, make a mark on your paper - a check, a star, a whirl - whatever you'd like to use to denote that you've completed the task. Maybe make a box and put a check in it!
  • If it's your 1st, 2nd, or 3rd checkmark, take a quick break (3-5 minutes) and then go back to the first step (decide what you need to work on next), and start over.
  • After you've gone through this series of steps 4 times, and you have 4 marks, you get to take a longer break (25-30 minutes); once that's done, start over from step 1 and work again to amass 4 completion marks - that check in the box, or star, or whatever you like.

Try it! See if it works! If it doesn't, take some time to reflect - was there any part that you liked? Was it fun to cross an item off your list (crossing an item off, even just one, is a win)? Did it help to acknowledge your distractions by writing them down? And, about those distractions - are you seeing a pattern? Can you use this information as a way to avoid those distractions in the future? Remember - if something doesn't work for you, it's value gained, and not a loss. The more you learn about yourself and what works and what strategies support and help you on your path, the better. Pomodoro on!

(Information on the Pomodoro Technique drawn from &