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How To Use The Pomodoro Technique To Improve Your Writing

I use the Pomodoro Technique for nearly every area of my life, especially activities I'm having a hard time psyching myself up for. It's really awesome for writing because that first blank page can be a frightening thing to face but if you give yourself a limited amount of time to put just the right amount of pressure to push forward.

Check out this video from How To ADHD for a quick crash course.

A Sense Of Accomplishment

When I was first establishing my writing routine I would give myself a little reward at the end of 25 minutes, like a piece of chocolate or a fancy cup of tea. Now just the act of completing 25 minutes of writing is enough to please my reward-craving brain with a sense of accomplishment. Do whatever you need to do to create the association of writing for 25 minutes with a feeling of wonderful especially if up until now you've been creating less than awesome associations with your writing.

Make Time For Writing

I've also used the Pomodoro to keep myself from burning up my free time trying to get chores out the way. Maybe you've had days like mine where you have a sink full of dishes, laundry that needs to be gathered up, and other nonsense that is required to keep your life from falling apart around you. Days gone by I would have poked at the various tasks I had on the to-do list trying to muster the energy for it, eager to get writing but knowing full well that if I started writing nothing will get done and then dinner can't get started, I won't have clothes for work the next day, and the cats will probably eat me in my sleep. So I set the 25-minute timer and go into berserker mode on my chore list. It usually only takes one or two sessions of this to get my tasks completed so I can get back to writing.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

I've taken the Pomodoro Technique one step further by bargaining with myself to do some editing on a completed piece for 25 minutes, stop for 5 (with a reward because editing is still a new enough challenge for me that I need to train my brain to want to do it), then 25 minutes of writing, 5 minute break, 25 minutes of more wiring and so on. I also use the Pomodoro to limit research time so I don't spend three days in a row looking up information instead of writing.

These days I don't have to be so strict about the 25 minutes. If I'm feeling not very keen on writing I will set a timer just to get my head in the game but otherwise, I just sit down and write until I'm spent - which is an amazing feeling. Give it a try and see how it works for you.

Good luck and keep writing!

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