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Sandra Pawula

Minding Your Time, Enhancing Your Mindfulness

The Pomodoro Technique - named by an Italian after the “tomato” - is an approach to time management intended to enhance your focus and concentration and reduce the anxiety associated with time.  It’s a simple but effective way to improve your work and study habits.

And this ruby red can help you with mindfulness too!

The system involves the use of a kitchen timer set to 25 minutes of time, but you can actually use any timer.  This slice of time is officially called a “pomodoro”.  Wind your physical timer or click the Pomodoro online time for 25 minutes.  Then set out on a task without stopping until the timer rings.

Here’s where your mindfulness training comes in.

Your first two pomodoros (25-minute work or study periods) are alternated with a 5-minute break.  There’s a 15-minute break after three pomodoros.  Why not use your pomodoro breaks to integrate your mindfulness practice into daily life?

When your timer jingles, bring your mind home.  Use your 5-minute break to meditate on the breath, the sounds in your environment, or the sensations in your body.  Or simply be aware of the thoughts and emotions that pass through your mind.

Need a stretch break instead?  That’s healthy.  Just make a point of staying mindful and aware as you rise from you seat and enter into each stretch.  Thirsty?  Practice walking meditation as you stroll over to the tap.  

While daily sitting practice is essential to establish, stabilize and strengthen your meditation, without an active practice of integration, you’ll fall into your old habits of distraction, get swept away by strong and even subtle emotions, or entangled in the events of the day.  Using a timer is the ideal way to systematically remember to practice mindfulness in this hurricane called life.

Once you start employing your timed breaks as a mindfulness tool, you’ll find the habit of awareness begins to penetrate your work or study time too.  And that’s what meditation really is:  learning to stay awake and aware in every moment of life.

Tracking Your Time and Activities

In addition to helping you stay focused and take breaks, the Pomodoro Technique helps you become more mindful of how you use your time.  An important part of the system is to count up the number of pomodoros for each activity or project of the day. 

At the end of the day, you look at your activity list carved into pomodoro slices and have a clear view of how you spent your time.  Now that could be scary!  Three pomodoros on Facebook? Oh no!  But with the clear information you garner, you will be able to get control and start being in charge of your time and your mind.  

Time is a precious resource, isn’t it?  Mindfulness can help you use time wisely.  And, using a simple timer can help you secure greater mindfulness and awareness throughout your day.

Download a free PDF copy of The Pomodoro Technique book to get on top of your time.  Note:  tomato not required.