While working remotely and independently comes with a long list of benefits, one of the pitfalls of working from home is that it can be hard to get started and even harder to concentrate. Focus is especially hard if you have other stressful or worrying things happening around you, or if you have a work task coming due that you just don’t want to do.
A few years ago, while going through a prolonged period of stressful events, I learned about a simple concentration hack. The Pomodoro Technique is named after a tomato-shaped timer student Francesco Cirillo used to time his study intervals.
The method is simple:
- Pick a task off your to-do list.
- Set a timer for 25 minutes.
- Work exclusively on that task until the timer goes off.
- Take a 5-minute break.
Once I got used to Pomodoro Tracking, I found I could focus on the task in front of me easily, despite all the other distractions happening in my life. I also became better at gauging how long a task would take to complete, which eventually led me to time-blocking, a different hack I’ll write about another time.
If you’re going through a period of stress, have anxiety over an upcoming deadline, or just don’t know how to get started on something I highly recommend this technique.