“You say tomato, I say tomato.” I had to start with that because pomodoro is Italian for tomato and today we’re talking about productivity. I get that makes no sense at all but bear with me.

There is this very cool time management method called the Pomodoro Technique. It’s named after that tomato timer that has graced many kitchens over the years because when this technique was first created in the late 1980’s the inventor, Francesco Cirillo, used one of those timers to track time. This technique increases productivity by scheduling short, regular breaks. Here’s how it works:

  1. Decide on the task to be done.
  2. Set the pomodoro timer to 25 minutes (I’m using my phone so I ask Siri to set the timer)
  3. Work on the task.
  4. Stop work when the timer rings and put a checkmark on a piece of paper.
  5. If there are less than 4 checkmarks/sessions take a 3 – 5 minute break, and then go back to step 2.
  6. After 4 sessions or pomodoros take a longer break and reset your checkmark count to zero and start again.

I’ve been using this technique this week and it’s working. I’ve been incredibly productive. I have the timer set now. There’s something about this that takes away the overwhelming feeling of starting some tasks. The 25-minute chunk works for me but apparently you can adjust to timing that works for you. 

The best part of this for all of you stuck at a desk for 8 hours or more a day office people is that during those breaks you can MOVE YOUR BODY.  (Oh my timer just went off so I’ll be back in a couple of moments after I do some squats.) (I’m back and feeling good – timer is reset.) You can get up, walk around, stretch, squat, lunge, touch your toes or even do some push-ups. The point is you can battle sitting disease and be more productive by using the Pomodoro Technique.

There you have it. This feels like the answer I’ve been searching for to help clients get some movement into their days. It’s one of those win/win situations. Thank goodness for that.

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