The Tomato Technique facilitates short bursts of focused activity!
Growing tomatoes is about teaching ourselves discipline by using shorter, focused bursts of activity. We grow a tomato by:
- Choosing a task that you're struggling to complete.
- Start a countdown timer for a short period of time.
- Focus on that task exclusively until the countdown completes.
Once you complete your first tomato, you have a short break to grab a coffee or go to the toilet. Then select the next task and go again.
Learning to say no is an important part of growing Tomatoes!
For the duration of the timer you work exclusively on the chosen task:
- Don’t check your phone/email
- No coffee breaks/toilet stops
- No chatting to your colleagues about the weather
It’s really important that you commit to the task for the period of the Tomato. There are lots of things that can distract us when we are undertaking a challenging, boring or repetitive task. By using a timer for a short period of time, we can teach ourselves to be
Twenty-five minutes is a good starting period for your first Tomato
If you want to grow lots of tomatoes it’s important to think carefully about the time period of a Tomato. On the one hand, we want the time period to be relatively short so that we are not overwhelmed by the task we are about to start. But we also want to make sure the time period is long enough to make meaningful progress on the selected task.
Twenty-five minutes is a good time to start with, but do be prepared to move it up or down depending on how you feel your progress is going. I personally concentrate well for up to forty minutes, so I do Tomato’s of thirty-five minutes.
When you complete your first Tomato, start again!
When you get started with your Tomatoes you will soon start getting into a rhytm. Here's some tips:
- Try to keep breaks short between Tomartoes.
- Batch your Tomartoes into groups of three or four then take a longer break before starting another batch.
- Keep track of your Tomatoes so you can see your progress.