Time Management For Authors What You Can Learn From A Tomato

There’s one thing I learned when it came to time management for authors and my previous career in corporate America.

The one thing? There’s no difference in time management for either career. There’s still the same amount of time in a day. And I still had the choices on how to use my time.

 In the past two years, I’ve still had days when I came to the  end of the day and found I  didn’t finish anything off of my “list.”  That really stinks now. In the corporate world, sometime I could blame it on others because they interrupted me and pulled me in a different direction than the day’s intention. But, when I’m on my own time and doing my own thing…well, no one to blame but myself. For instance, does this scene sound familiar to you?

“She sits down quickly at her computer. She had the greatest intention of only spending a quick 15 minutes to check up on family and friends on Facebook. Later, when she pushed away from the keyboard and walked into the hall, she saw her reflection in the mirror.  Her eyes were glazed, Fifteen innocent minutes had somehow blown up into a two hours social media rabbit hole.


A a writer and blogger, I’m learning more and more that in order to do the FUN things, I need to manage my time better. I need to develop some basic successful business and life mindset skills.

And, let’s face it. Managing the TIME isn’t the problem, it’s managing myself! I found out about a nice little SELF (time) Management trick involving a tomato. The official trick is actually a time management technique called “Pomodoro Technique”. Pomodoro is Italian for tomato.

The developer of the technique used a kitchen timer that was shaped like a tomato, and the name just stuck with the inspiration.

Letting a tomato teach you time management skills

Letting a tomato teach you time management skills

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

His technique is basically teaching you to just concentrate in 25 minute increments on a very specific task which you have written down on your list of “Things To- Do”. After the 25 minutes, take a 3 to 5 minute break. Then, go back to the task. If you need 4 Pomodoro sessions, then after that fourth session, take a longer break such as 15 minutes.

How do I learn the Pomodoro Technique?

Basically, to learn this activity you need a timer that can be set to a 25 minute increment. Now, this can be an old fashioned kitchen timer or an app on your smart phone. There are LOTS of apps out there with bells and whistles if you want one for your smart phone. Just do a search for “Pomodoro Timer App”. (Hint: I just set my timer on my phone alarm for 25 minutes and stick to my pencil and index card method.)

Next, you need your list of activities that you have planned and committed to doing for the day.

Does The Pomodoro Technique Work?

In the corporate world I used the technique and saw an immediate improvement in my SELF management. I find myself more focused to the activity and less likely to allow my mind to wander. I also found that I didn’t multi-task as I had been prone to do.

In fact, the writing of this article was done during a Pomodoro session. I wanted to share this with you so I closed down all other browsers and emails so I could focus on just this one task. I set my timer and started working.

25 minutes later, thissimple article was complete and I had fulfilled my goal of writing today!

You see, I’ve used this technique as an author. This time-management skill has helped me to publish 4 books in 13 months.

Things to Remember About the Pomodoro Technique

1. If you get interrupted, you have to set your 25 minutes again. Yes, this may mean hanging a “Do not disturb” sign on the door!
2. Think about the task you are going to do. Allow yourself enough Pomodoro sessions. If you know you are needing to sit down and have 2 hours to complete a task, but you only have 15 minutes, it’s probably not the best to do that particular activity.
3. When you take your 5 minute breaks, don’t use that 5 minutes to do some other task that uses a lot of mental effort. The whole idea is to give your mind a break. That 5 minutes could be a quick stretching session, a walk around the room, or perhaps be used doing one of your 100 positive action steps for the day.

I hope this helps you to write more and write better. I have another tool that can help you to get your book done.

You can visit www.KimSteadman.com/writemorewritebetter to find out more!

Hugs and feathers from the nest~~()~~

 Kim can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KimSteadmanAuthor and on Google+ at +Kim.

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