I recently experienced a loss in momentum. You may have noticed that I haven’t published a blog in more than a month. That’s a hard pill for me to swallow, but good to admit. And what heck, why not create a blog out of it?
This loss of momentum feels horrible, because I made a commitment to myself and those who follow my blog that I would publish regularly.
Well, it was easy to get in the mindset that the blog was less important than other stuff – things like new client workloads, more networking events, and a bunch of small “pet” projects.
But here’s the thing: Every week that I missed a blog deadline, it began to secretly eat away at me. I wasn’t conscious of this, but my failure to keep this commitment to myself started to take a toll on my overall pride in my work. This small “miss” turned into a BIG momentum buster for me!
I shared this frustration with my coach, who recommended a technique to help me get back on track. It’s called the Pomodoro Technique—a simple, yet powerful way to build back momentum.
It starts with the concept of using 25-minute bundles of time (called Pomodoros) to concentrate on a specific task. Here’s how it works: you identify the key steps of your task, clarify the objective of each step and then estimate how many “pomodoros” it will take to finish.
When ready, set a timer (I use the one on my iPhone) for 25 minutes and simply dive in!
Do NOT check e-mail, answer the phone, or browse the Internet. Don’t allow anything to distract you during this sacred time period. Just focus diligently on completing the task within the allotted time. Once the timer goes off, give yourself permission to check e-mail, etc., until you choose to start another Pomodoro.
Writing this blog took 4.9 Pomodoros (a little over two hours).
I found that by pushing myself to “beat the clock,” I got a healthy sense of urgency that helped expedite the process without compromising quality.
I hope this technique is helpful to you. Please share other methods you use to get unstuck.
In the meantime, look for another blog next week… and here’s to building back momentum!
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Randall – I was wondering what happened. 🙂 This is a great blog post and you’re a very interesting guy w lots of wisdom to share. I look forward to reading your material whenever published. I’m going to try this technique today! Do you have any advice to prevent my To Do List from growing exponentially every day?
Indeed a great post. I’ll try the “pomodoro” and see how it works for me.
Thanks Solange. Try it, I think you’ll like it!
Hi Masoud. Thanks for your note. I’m still challenged with those daily “to-do’s” as we’ll. However, one thing that has helped is to keep the daily “list” to the 3 most important things I need to accomplish. That forces me to think through what I really need to get done and to stay focused.
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