So recently I’ve been pondering about how little time I have at hand lately. It’s not that I have a big workload. But despite my “free” time, I haven’t been getting much done. I look back at what I’ve been doing, and I see that I am spending way to much time on social media.
Even if I block the Social Media from wasting my time, I end up not feeling like doing work. Not that I don’t want to. I don’t know what it is… perhaps I don’t feel a sense of urgency?
Well. I’ve had enough of tossing my time into the void. I should be counting every second, making sure that I spend it well. So that’s why I’ve hit a sudden inspiration to implement a modified form of the pomodoro technique. Here’s how it goes:
The condition is that I need to instill an artificial sense of urgency in any task that I partake. In order to do this, I need to make myself conscious of how very little time that I have. So in order to do this, I first find a good timer. I have a preference for physical ones, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. But with only a computer with the internet available, the Google Timer works charmingly well.
I also have to take into account my attention span. How long is it until I start to feel weary or slightly apathetic on what I am doing? For me, it seems to be 5 minutes. So I set the timer to 5 minutes and do as much as possible. The small time frame I give myself is the key to productivity.
The key is to give yourself very little time to get the task done. That way, you will put in as much effort as possible.
After the timer is up, I reset the timer back to 5 minutes and either decide to continue to do my task as long as I promise myself not to get distracted and give it my all. Or start/continue on another task off of my workload.
Now you must be thinking that the time that it takes to get comfortable, when switching to a new task, is inefficient. Isn’t it more efficient to work/study for an hour rather than 5 minutes? Actually, let me re-phrase that.
Wouldn’t you rather work/study for 5 minutes rather than an hour?
It’s all about psychology baby! Many of us imagine the task of an hour being unbearably hard, so we procrastinate.
But if you allow yourself to think that you are only required to do 5 minutes of that same task, then the task becomes so much more agreeable.
And the cool thing that I found is that after 5 minutes of doing the task, I feel unsatisfied if I don’t do more. Perhaps it’s a completionist complex?
So again, the key to productivity is to install a sense of urgency. Because when something is urgently required in our mind to be done, we don’t have room to feel boredom.