POW/ROA: Tis the Season to Procrastinate

Obviously, the title is meant to be taken tongue in cheek, but what is it about the POW/ROA or “ROA-POW” which creates emotional wrecks out of even the most stalwart of 4-H agents?  It is daunting, isn’t it?  Your entire professional year (or more) summed up on paper.

I can be an incredible procrastinator, ask my graduate advisor for my master’s thesis.  In my experience, my need for perfectionism makes me an incredible procrastinator.  Why start now, when I’ll be more ready tomorrow?  I better not jump ahead if I want it to be done, “right.”

The truth is that the desire to be “great” immediately, can prevent us from ever having a “good” start.  Something I use when I need an extra push to get started on, or finish a project, is the pomodoro technique.

The pomodoro technique is a method of time management developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s.  The idea behind the technique is that you can work on any task, no matter how daunting, as long as you only have to work on it for a limited time.  The steps for implementing the pomodoro technique are:

1)  Decide on the task to be done
2)  Set the pomodoro timer to n minutes (generally 25 minutes)
3)  Work on the task until the timer rings
4)  Take a 5 minute break
5)  After four pomodori, take a longer break (15–30 minutes)

If you search for “free pomodoro timer” you will find a variety of options which can be downloaded to your PC, Mac, or smartphone.  The one I have been using most recently is:  http://www.eggscellentapp.com

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