Call it Spring Fever or maybe I’m coming out of my winter hibernation, but I’d rather be outside than inside and my concentration is starting to suffer. Spring Fever is not a legitimate excuse to get me out of work, so I need a little help to get back into my groove. My go to strategy is to use the Pomodoro Technique.
The Pomodoro Technique helps increase focus and concentration by splitting up your work into intervals. The technique recommends you work on a specific task, no multi-tasking allowed, for 25 minutes and then take a 5 minute break. Its a short enough interval that its not overwhelming and once I get started, I usually end up working longer than 25 minutes because I’ve found my focus.
When its time for a break, I try to stand up and get away from the desk for a few minutes. I try not to check email or get online because its easy to get sucked in and I could lose my focus.
I use an app that I’ve installed on my computer called Focus Booster, available for Mac and Windows. Its free and its simple to use. I can adjust the interval length, right now I have mine set for 30 minutes of work and a 5 minute break. And it keeps track of how many intervals I’ve gone through, which is great for those projects in which I’m required to track how much time I’m spending on it.
Once you start Focus Booster and click the green arrow the timer will start. I usually minimize the application or move it to a lower corner of the screen so I don’t watch the time countdown. When the time is up, an alert will sound and your 5 minute break starts. Repeat as necessary until the task is complete.
You could also set a timer on your phone or tablet and I’m sure there are other apps out there that will do the same thing. If you find something that works for you, use it. But don’t spend too much time searching for the perfect tool, that’s procrastination and you want to focus on the work, not on the tool.
I don’t use Focus Booster and the Pomodoro Technique all the time, but when my focus starts to waver its great to have these tools to fall back on. They are simple to use, free, and help me get my work done so I can finish my work.
When you notice your focus slipping, what do you do to help get it back? Let us know in the comments!
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