Do You Have Trouble Staying on Task?
I know I do. I’ve struggled for years and ADHD doesn’t help, but what does help? For me it was building a Routine and using a Pomodoro Timer.
A pomodoro timer is a time management tool and system. You set your timer to a ‘work’ time, such as 15 or 25 minutes, and you work on one task until the timer goes off! Then you get to set the timer for a 5 min break and you rinse and repeat. After 4 work sessions you can give yourself a longer break, usually 15 minutes.
I’m using a pomodoro timer with FlyLady’s cleaning method as FlyLady already encourages the use of a timer. Her system was the one that encouraged me and taught me that I can do a lot in 15 minutes. It doesn’t have to be perfect when the timer goes off. Once you get on your daily routine, you’ll start hitting all the major areas in your home.
How the Pomodoro Timer Fits My Routine’s Structure
I set my pomodoro timer to 15 minutes of work and it allows me to run through the basic dailies one step at a time.
My routine goes like this:
15 minutes Shine the Sink and Clean Kitchen
FlyLady taught me to shine my sink every morning. It’s a good habit to start a routine with. Once you get that sink clean every day that cleaning bug spreads to the kitchen counters. At least it did with me. So, my main goal each morning is to shine that sink. I ended up also using that time as a 15 minute pomodoro to get the kitchen all set for the day. I'll put away dishes, wipe counters, and sweep the floor.
5 minute break
Sip some coffee, read a devotional, write any notes you thought of. Then get back to work when that timer goes off again!
5 minutes cleaning one room that needs it
FlyLady calls this a Room Rescue, and it’s meant to get you started, and then stay on top of things. I’ve turned it into a weekly schedule where I do a certain room each day.
5 minute break
Because the room rescue is so short I sometimes flow into the next 15 minute work timer. If the room needs it, I’ll do it as a 10 or 15 minute work timer.
15 minute Zone
FlyLady has a system of ‘Zones’ where you work on a different part of the house each week, and it cycles every month. So all major areas can get the deep cleans each month. This is when the pomodoro timer shines, as it helps you get on track, and you know to stay at it until it goes off. Some days it will feel like that 15 minutes lasts forever, but most days I find that I get a lot done in those 15 minutes!
5 minute break
Sip more of that coffee, take a pee break, check your texts.
15 minute break
This is where I tend to take a longer break. Make more coffee, read a book, etc. I try to avoid the phone and internet on the longer breaks. It’s just too easy to rabbit trail into the click bait and loose my day. When your pomodoro timer goes off, end your break!
Okay, this one is of my own making. I end up with a to-do list such as calling doctors, paying preK tuition, and other random things that need done. I put aside a time to do that each day, and I’ll use the pomodoro timer when it’s a larger task.
So that’s the basic routine I do (or try to do) every day and that pomodoro timer is what keeps me on track. The 5 minute breaks help me organize my thoughts into my bullet journal and keep track of what needs done.
With this routine, and the support of the pomodoro timer, I’m able to get my house all done for the day in just over an hour.
Well, until the afternoon routine kicks in. That has a different flow to it as I’m picking up kids, cooking and other things that don’t really work with a pomodoro.
I also have two free printables that go great with today's topic: a Habit Tracker to record your progress on your new routines, and a routines page to write down your daily routines!