Being a productive and healthy writer sounds too good to be true. Like that ‘one weird thing’ headline that you see in your Facebook feed, and want to click on but don’t.
This, however, is not a trick…
How do you measure ‘move more,’ anyway? How much more is more?
Besides, we’re starting to understand that it’s not always about moving more, but moving more often.
I want to be a productive and healthy writer
We’ve all read dozens of articles on how to work more efficiently, all the while we’re not actually working.
Instead of working, we’re following the links to yet more articles on how to…
Yeah, we are easily distracted, by anything and everything on the internet, just like we are by the squirrels in the neighborhood.
We know we need to limit ourselves, but we don’t want to, so Facebook and Twitter time comes between us and our productivity.
We want to, but we don’t.
5 minutes is all I ask
That’s all the time it’s going to take to read this, and it’s all the time you’ll need to get your body healthier AND refresh your mind.
5 minutes will immediately make you a more productive and healthy writer.
It will help you to do better work, faster, and still allow you to have time to do what you love. …or at least can’t resist, like Facebook and Instagram.
And yes, there are studies. I used something called ‘science,’ so references at the bottom.
The Pomodoro Technique
Sure, tomatoes are healthy, but can one really make you a more productive and healthy writer?
Meaning tomato in Italian, this time management and productivity method was named after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer of the inventor.
It is based on the concept that we can concentrate well for small, defined, and manageable chunks of time.
In the case of Pomodoro, it’s based on 30-minute cycles, where you work for twenty-five minutes, refresh for five minutes, then repeat as necessary.
Pomodoro, in and of itself, has nothing to do with health; it’s about time management and productivity, but it works perfectly with studies that have shown us that similar cycles of work and breaks lead to better health.
Better health, in this case, is defined as improved cardiovascular function, lower blood sugar levels, and improved insulin response.
Before the idea of ‘light breaks’ scares you away, in the case of the studies (linked below), these breaks were merely getting up and walking around for 5 minutes. Not walking hard. Not exercising. Walking.
In fact, they also looked at people who took higher exertion breaks and found that harder wasn’t better.
It was the breaks that mattered, not the level of exertion.
Easy. …and only 5 minutes.
- 25 minutes of work
- 5 minutes of movement break
- Resist the urge to keep going after 25 minutes. Mark your place, take your break, and come back better than ever!
- Repeat up to 4 cycles, after which you take a 15–30 minimum break before doing more cycles
- The longer breaks are the perfect time for lunch, walking to the coffee house, or checking in on Facebook.
I like to work in 30-minute increments because it’s easier to schedule into my day, too. Got an hour before work? Two Pomodoros!
“Dude, I just pomodoroed the $#!@ outta my day.
I think I got it. You are correct re: simplicity.” — Dani
Use a kitchen timer as the inventor did, or just use the built-in timer on your phone.
You can find apps on your phone or computer, or even use your microwave oven.
Don’t worry about the perfect tool today, there’s plenty of time to get geeky later.
Planning is simple because each cycle is 30 minutes, you can easily see how your day can be broken into many manageable chunks.
You don’t have to sit down to do Pomodoro.
Trying to use a standing desk? 25 minutes is a manageable amount of time to stand, especially when it’s new to you.
Add more standing Pomodoros later.
I was recently interviewed by Indie Author Magazine on the subject of how the Pomodoro technique can help you with your sit/stand desk, too.
Keep movement breaks easy by starting with walking to the bathroom, puttering around the house, making coffee, taking out the trash, walking the dog.
Start off easy, and refresh your mind and body before getting back to work. More frequent breaks and movements are the goals, not perfection.
The Role of Low Energy Expenditure and Sitting on Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome, Type 2 Diabetes, and Cardiovascular Disease, db07–0882v2, 56/11/2655
American Diabetes Association –doi: 10.2337/dc11–1931
Let me know how the Pomodoro Technique works for you!
PS. If you don’t have it yet, be sure to grab my free guide to author productivity in the link below,
5 Steps to Author Productivity.
Roland has been helping authors just like himself be more productive and write more books, all while staying healthy, happy, and sane since 2015.
Read his story right here, and if you want to send him a message, visit Roland's contact page here.