Something that I have struggled with for the greater part of my adult life is that I am easily distracted. I believe this is because I have extremely sensitive senses. I wear sunglasses on cloudy days, because the outdoor brightness bothers my eyes. I can smell things, often minutes before other people notice. I cut tags out of my clothing. I’ll eat gorgonzola cheese, but blue cheese makes me gag. And dozens of sounds that other people don’t seem to notice, not only go right though me, but distract me. When I am trying concentrate I need total quiet. If a lawn mower starts up, I have to close the windows. I can’t focus if an air conditioner is running, or there is a load of laundry in the dryer. The littlest things can pull me out of my zone, which is difficult enough to get into in the first place.
It’s nearly impossible to limit the number of distractions that exist in my day to day world. I am an Academic Advisor under a holistic advising approach model to almost 100 students. What does that mean? Basically I serve as the “hub” to their college experience, and need to be accessible. In addition, I teach First Year Seminar every fall and spring. Most recently I added being a student into the mix. At any given time I have at least 6 different tasks going, in an environment in which I need to be accessible. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but there are definitely days that I feel I’ve spun wheels with little progress.
I am always looking for new ways to stay organized, and on task. I recently learned about the Pomodoro Technique from Dr. McVerry. I noticed that he was inserting tomato emojis into his tweets to describe his daily progress on various projects. He suggested I look into it, and sent me the tomato timer that he uses. The Pomodoro Technique is a productivity method for people like myself, who often deviate from tasks.
The Pomodoro Technique was invented in the early 90s by developer, entrepeneur, and author Francesco Cirillo. Cirillo named the system “Pomodoro” after the tomato-shaped timer he used to track his work as a university student. (Henry, 2014)
The method is comprised of intervals of timed productivity separated by breaks. Typically it’s 25 minutes on task, followed by a 5 minute break. After about 3 or 4 “Pomodoros” you take a 15-20 minute break to recharge.
As one of my projects for EDU522, I have decided to spend a week using the Pomodoro Method. I will document my experience daily, and bookmark interesting articles I find about the Pomodoro method. I am spending most of my week outside of the office, so hopefully I will have more control over distractions. There are 3 major projects (with sub projects) that I need to complete this week. FC101 class preparation, review advisees fall schedules and progression, and finish EDU522.
Writing this introduction took 🍅🍅