Something productive

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Recently I discovered something called “The Pomodoro Technique”.

Even though “Pomodoro” means “tomato” in Italian, it does not involve any delicious, garlicky cuisine. It is a time management framework that can help you enhance productivity.

All you need is a simple timer to break work down into intervals, separated by short breaks in between. It encourages you to utilize the limited amount of time you have which would ideally result in laser-focusing on tasks while avoiding the distractions that are common in the modern working environment.

 

Naturally, as a former “potential ADHD kid” who grew up watching Sponge Bob, which I think is one of the major leading causes of ADHD in early childhood, I had to give “The Tomato” a shot.

While I actually really appreciate the outcome, I was not very pleased with the experience. You see, I took one of those really classic, granny kitchen timers that are shaped like a tomato to practice this method. Well, let me just say that I almost did see my granny up in heaven due to a near heart attack that I had. Those old school kitchen timers don’t mess around when it comes to letting you know that it is, indeed, time! It was so loud that I literally jumped off my chair.

The reason why the Pomodoro Technique works so well is because the forceful breaks actually manipulate the chemicals your brains release. With a conventional working routine, we’d often start tasks and then take a break when we thought we had completed the tasks or a good chunk of it. I used to believe that the more tasks I could complete before taking a break, the better my focus was.  However, this way of working can actually prevent you from focusing further after you are done taking a break.

With the Pomodoro method, on the other hand, you’d have to take a break before your task is completely done. During the practice, I often found myself being frustrated because I had to stop what I was working on. This frustration, though, is the key to successfully take taking advantage of the Pomodoro.  Your brain is not satisfied, so it craves the satisfaction that comes from the completion of tasks.

Basically, you make your brain think you want to work more.

Sounds like a phenomenal way to improve your productivity. Doesn’t it?

But for what?

In our modern society, we are obsessed with efficiency, having an abundance, our performance, and capability how capable we are. From the world’s greatest minds to the celebrities who we are supposed to look up to, they all inspire and encourage us to achieve something impressive.,(monumental, outstanding.) That type of social pressure can be an enormous hurdle to overcome. Especially if you are a mediocre individual, like me.

Our living social environment conditions us to want to be productive. That’s why we all spend at least some amount of time watching motivational speakers on TED talks, and gazing over the backs of the “self-improvement” books at Barnes & Noble.
That’s why we all spend at least some time watching motivational speakers on TED talks, and perusing the spines “self-improvement” books at Barnes & Noble.

What are we all trying to prove? That we are all worthwhile?

I don’t know why I need to be so productive and I don’t know where it gets us.
Now After sitting down and pondering on this topic during the 5-minute break that Pomodoro allowed me to have, I’m not so sure if that I want to have a tomato-shaped kitchen timer to run my life.

 

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