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Hey everybody. It’s Adam with the Productivity Academy. Today is the first day of November 2017, and if you’re watching for the very first time, if you’re on Facebook hopefully you can like the page or give me a like if not, if you’re not YouTube, if you want to subscribe and stay up to date, that way you see the videos first. We do reviews, we do updates on existing reviews, products and apps, talk about productivity and process and all that good stuff. Also, if you go to productivity.academy/more and sign up, got some other good stuff there as well as updates, and some more information, which will be coming soon so, a little bit of a teaser there.
But today, what we’re gonna be talking about is a little bit about the Pomodoro from both sides as far as Pomodoro Technique being like setting a fixed amount of time to study or do something, and then taking a shirt break, and then getting back and kind of cycling that. And then a question about how to get excited at night. Not what you might be thinking, pretty tamed stuff, and then a couple other odds and ins about process that I wanted to talk about and then we’ll wrap things up there. All right, let’s get into it.
The Pomodoro questions. This is a good one. For a Pomodoro Technique, what can I possibly do on a five minute break that will be refreshing to start a new session again, especially for somebody who wants to stop looking at their phone?
Really good question. I personally like this for two reasons. One, I think that taking that five minute break is important no matter if you’re doing a 45 minute Pomodoro or a 20, however you set it up. It’s important I think to physically move. I find that adds a lot to it, and then you can take that time to do something also that will benefit you.
What I mean by that is, I generally don’t like to … Let’s say my Pomodoro time I’m putting 25 minutes in, and I’m banging out some emails or working on a landing page. I generally try not to do the same type of thing, so generally involves getting up, stretching, hopefully everyone will agree, or I can come with loads of paper showing this. Getting up and moving around if very good for you, especially for those of us who spend a lot of time in front of a computer.
I like to get up and since I work from home, I can take care of something. Maybe I’ve got some dishes lying around or in need to take the laundry downstairs. Getting that type of stuff done, but even if you’re in the office, maybe you’ve got some papers that need to be moved somewhere. You can go say hello to somebody. The famous or the one I see all the time is, go get a drink of water. That’s a great idea instead of … Hopefully you have a water bottle near you, but if you don’t, or it’s partially empty, go fill it up.
Take a drink, take a walk around the house, go outside. Shoot some hoops, do whatever floats your boat, but that five minutes and just move. You don’t have to go out there and do wind sprints and break a sweat, but just moving around and being active and switching your focus is generally important so that your brain gets a little bit of relaxation.
And then for myself as well, just physically my eyes, I find that it’s very, very, very helpful, especially as the years go on to not be staring at a screen for hours at a time. Hopefully those will give you some good ideas, and again, the main idea here is just switching your focus. Doing something that helps you, as well as something you enjoy. Just even something like getting up, stretching and saying like, “Okay, you know …” That’s good. You feel batter afterwards instead of it being like, “I’m gonna get done and do like 50 pushups,” and you may not have the motivation to do that again.
The next question, and I kind of thought of this in terms of Pomodoro so this is the other side. How do I concentrate better in my studies? I can’t study for more than 45 minutes. I get distracted very quickly. I almost said five minutes. That might actually be a problem.
I think of this as a great way to use the Pomodoro Technique and say well, if you can’t study for more than 45 minutes, I don’t see that actually as a problem. I think that’s really normal. I think a lot of people have trouble staying focused and clear and one task for that amount of time. I would say maybe even shortening it. You’re saying, if you have a really hard time getting to 45 minutes, come down to 40 or 35 or 30. Might not wanna go less than that for studying whether you’re a student and you’re in school, or you’re working on something for your business and you’re taking a course on copyrighting or automation or any of this stuff.
It could be watching videos, it could be reading a book. It comes down to saying, “okay, I’m gonna do this for 30 to 40 minutes. I know I need to focus on this, and then I’m gonna take a five minute break, get up, go do something else, walk around, stretch.” And again, you can do this at a study hall in college. I remember doing this. I would keep an eye on my stuff, but we had I big library and I would just walk around. Maybe look at some of the books. Take a minute. Stretch a little bit, and then come back, clear my mind, and sit back down and get back into it.
I think that’s a great way to do it. I just don’t know anybody who studies very well for hours and hours on end. I’m not saying that I’ve never sat down and … There’s times where you just need that continual time, but taking a few minutes really helps you reset and keep going.
So, there was a third question here and I like this. How do I motivate myself to do something productive after a hard day of work? Tough question. Not gonna lie, just personally I really feel this because at the end of the day, I know my well enough that in the afternoon i really start to slide. I try not to plan really critical things in the afternoon.
I can handle meetings, things like that. It works well for me and I realize, I think a lot of people are like this but maybe some aren’t. But then by the time you actually get into the evening after dinner, and if you’ve scheduled something at night, you know what I’m talking about. You’re like, “Yeah, I’m working on this side business and I’m gonna work three hours at night two times, three times a week and get this done.” It’s tough. It can be really tough.
I think what I would do here is try to use a habit loop. What I mean by that is, if you’re doing something, I would try to tie it to a reward at the end. If I do this activity, then I get something out of it. And yes, some of this comes down to, you just gotta do the work. At the same tie, what do you get out of it? Can you reward yourself in a good way? Can you say, if I have something I wanna do form 9:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. to move whatever it is forward, at the end of that what’s the benefit to me? Can I spruce it up? It could literally be something silly like I get a small bowl of ice cream or something when I sit down and do this.
If that’s the motivation that gets your butt to do what you need to do, then maybe so. Just make sure you’re also doing some running or something. But just tying that to a benefit, because a lot of times it can be hard. At night you’re physically tired, mentally you’re not generally at your peak for most people, especially if you’ve been working through the day. I think that’s a good way to do it. There’s more in-depth stuff you can do that, but tying that to it.
As well as maybe at the beginning, heres something if you don’t wanna go the bowl of ice cream route. You could start each time you’re gonna sit down and do your work or whatever it is and think about why you’re doing it. This could be a minute, this could be five minutes. Reviewing what’s your goal? What is it you’re doing, and reminding yourself about that before you get started.
This has two big benefits. One, it’s a motivational factor because hopefully you’re doing this for some sort of larger reason. Maybe you’re taking a night class and the goal is to get your degree to get the job you want, et cetera, et cetera. But then, also to clarify your goals and help you focus during that session unlike my cay which is very loud. I think those are some good ideas, hopefully this helps.
I’m gonna skip the process stuff and record a separate video for this. I wanted to talk about how to use processes and closing loops in a way that these processes help you stay on top of things automatically. Basically, creating processes that are self-healing. It’s stuff I’m working on in my own business and I’m looking forward to sharing this with everybody so stay tuned for that. I am going to go deal with a noisy cat so have a good one and I’ll see everybody next week.