Monday, November 8, 2021

Where has the Pomodoro Technique been all my writing life?

Seriously, how have I never heard of this until now?
The Sisters in Crime/NaNoWriMo Zoom write-ins employ what's known as the Pomodoro Technique. Basically you work for 25 minutes, then take a brief break before doing another 25 minutes of work. If necessary, you can take a longer break after several pomodoros. 
Each write-in begins with the writer/host of the session greeting everyone and offering some advice on NaNo and/or writing in general. Then the host sets a timer for 25 minutes and the Zoom meeting goes dark. When the pomodoro ends, the host brings everyone back and we get to boast about our progress in the chat.

I've managed roughly between 800-900 words per pomodoro. Some people do less because they're researching or working on something they've been stuck on. There's no rule about what or how much you have to get done within the 25 minutes, just that you focus on your task.

The technique was developed in the late 1980's by college student Francesco Cirillo and is named "pomodoro" (Italian for "tomato") after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer he used.

I remember these!

There's a very formal step-by-step list of instructions on how to use the technique here, but you can do it as casually as you want. I have found just doing even two a day during the write-ins to be life-changing in terms of my writing progress, which had been sluggish at best this year. I plan on continuing to use it post-NaNo and highly recommend the technique for anyone who needs more focus and discipline on any task, not just writing.

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