Have you ever heard of The Pomodoro Technique? I’ve used this method to try to be productive in my work . . . but never to be productive in my parenting. The basics are to turn everything off (phone, email, twitter, facebook, and any other distractions) and focus solely on ONE THING for 25 minutes. Then, you take a five-minute break. After the five-minute break, you start on a new 25 minute pomodoro session. When I can be disciplined enough to use this technique, it works swimmingly!
The state of my house was driving me nuts. I was desperate to get some laundry and other picking up done, but the kids were home from school for the day. Hmmm would pomodoros work on my children?? Nothing motivates my kiddos more than reading Harry Potter together (we were close to finishing book 3). I explained to them the following deal:
We would do a work pomodoro, followed by a fun pomodoro. Each child would get their choice in order of birth (which form of work: laundry, toy pick-up, room cleaning and then which form of fun: Harry Potter outloud reading, drawing session, etc.).
Guess what?? It worked. . . an hour and a half of consistent and focused HELP! I mean it. Consistent and thorough help! I moved from one child to another lending a hand, where necessary. And, we got an hour and a half of well-earned fun mixed in! Our five-minute transitions tended to stretch out to 10 or 15 minutes, but it worked well.
I ended up with empty laundry baskets, cleaned up rooms, AND we finished The Prisoner of Azkaban! Ahhhh . . . I think I’ve got to use the pomodoros more often in my every day work – try it! Check out how Charlie finished his closet – is there anything more satisfying than that?