Archive | June, 2017

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Using The Pomodoro Technique as a Freelance Writer

Posted on 30 June 2017 by sam

As a freelance writer, it is very easy to drown in projects and forget to take breaks. Working continuously is not efficient, and you will find yourself drained of energy and inspiration, struggling to finish a task that usually would have taken less to complete. Exhaustion can make you lose your focus, make mistakes that you normally would not to and miss deadlines. For a freelance writer, this means unhappy customers, bad reviews, and lost contracts. You have worked so hard to get your hands on those online freelance writing jobs that it would be a shame to lose them like this.

Fortunately, there is a productivity tool that you can use to keep up your energy levels and the good work. The Pomodoro technique is, in fact, a timer which breaks down your work into smaller periods of time. You set the timer for a 25-minute period, and you focus on your task without interruption until the timer rings. The one who developed this technique is Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s, but it was only in 2006 when he published his book The Pomodoro Technique. The technique’s name comes from the kitchen timer Cirillo that he used, which is shaped like a tomato (pomodoro in Italian).

This time management method can boost the writing productivity for people with online writing jobs from home, and Cirillo believes that people are the most productive when they focus and work on 25-minute tasks, followed by 5-minute breaks. The 25-minute period is called a ‘pomodoro.’

How the Pomodoro Technique Works

The Pomodoro Technique helps you map out your entire work based on 25-minute periods and breaks. This involves not only planning, but also challenging yourself.  Here is how it works:

For every 25-minute period of work, you take a 5-minute break. After four sets you take a 15-30-minute break. Then start all over again.

According to Cirillo at the beginning of each day, you make a list of activities you want to complete and prioritize them. List each activity with an estimate of how many 25-minute breaks or pomodoros you will need to complete it. Then, as the day goes along, you have to track your activity and mark off each pomodoro and cross out activities once they’re done.

The technique has three evaluation stages: record, process and visualize. At the end of the day you will review your plan and determine what improvements you need to make in your writing practice.

How the Pomodoro Technique Can Help Authors

For many freelance writers writing a task in 25-minute periods is close to impossible, especially if you have a lengthy article, review, blog post or even a book. Although it might seem that this technique will complicate things instead of making them easier, give it a try. You can challenge yourself and try to write a certain number of words in a pomodoro or try to write more when you have a little bit of available time.

Useful tools

Instead of using a simple timer you can install some of the amazing apps out there, with lots of useful features.

Marinara Timer

This is a web app that you can keep open in a separate tab. Simply select the timer alerts so that you know when you should take a break or reconfigure the writing and break times to suit you.

Tomighty

This is a desktop Pomodoro timer app that you just start, and it will do the rest. You can also customize the app according to your work and break periods.

Pomodorable

This app has more visual cues for your complete and coming up tasks, and it also lets you estimate how many pomodoros you need to finish a task.

Focus Timer

Focus Timer, previously known as PomodoroPro is a great app for iPhone and iPad. You have the freedom to customize your work and break periods and review work history. It shows you how your focus is improving and it offers a star-based rating system to help you stay motivated.

These are some of the apps that you can choose from. Experiment with all of them and see which one fits your needs.

The Pomodoro Technique is perfect for those with freelance writing jobs online, students, managers, lawyers, developers, directors, parents, teachers and any other persons who have to deal with creative work. The goal of this technique is to help you focus and get into the zone, but also to remind you to go out for air. Give it a try, and you might realize that it’s just what you were looking for.

self-improvement

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Inspirational Lessons for Self-Improvement from a Founding Father

Posted on 10 June 2017 by sam

A recent study classified two different types of behaviour people take on when produced with critical feedback. First, there are the Provers. These people tend to attempt to justify their current state with excuses and rationalization. Whether or not those defenses hold any weight, these people are trying to “prove” that they are fine as they are. The second group contains the Improvers. These people, no matter how qualified they already are, take a close look at themselves and try to find ways a situation can help them become better.

The Founding Father Benjamin Franklin is perhaps the most famous “Improver” in history likely due to the prolific documentation we have on his methods and philosophies for improvement. He attempted to cultivate habits for holistic self-improvement throughout his entire life.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin

Not surprisingly, Franklin was an avid reader. When he decided he wanted to become a better writer as well, he made up exercises for practice and committed to studying famous authors.

Franklin was renowned for his writing, but his methods can be applied to any skill and individuals often see success when focused on honing personal strengths, whether those be essay writing like Franklin or the chemistry of beauty products like Ida Gál-Csisza.

Don’t simply rely on being “good enough” at something. Analyze methods and disciplines to help you improve and learn more about your greatest skills. There is no ceiling for excellence, so continue to improve your education by any means necessary, find unique areas of interest and do your research to be sure you’re landing yourself in the right courses to provide the most fruitful learning experiences possible.  

“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.” – Benjamin Franklin

Often remembered as a scholar, Franklin should also be remembered as a strong proponent of physical self-care. He made certain to exercise frequently and eat well, even becoming a vegetarian for health and thrift. An avid swimmer in a time where most of the population did not know how to swim, Franklin was posthumously inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1968.

He believed that productivity improved as health improved, an attitude that remains relevant as more and more americans are affected by diseases of affluence like obesity or back pain due to inactive lifestyles. While modern medicine goes a long way, even today many doctors recommend lifestyle changes to deal with chiropractic or health issues.

“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” – Benjamin Franklin

From his heavy involvement in the ideology of the birth of the United States, it is fitting that Franklin was invested in cultivating moral character. And not only on a nationwide scale, but personally as well. A bit of a scoundrel in his youth, Franklin bemoaned that he learned the wisdom of morality so late in his life. At least, late from his perspective. There many who go through life with little thought to their personal morality at all.

Not satisfied with other systems of morals at the time, Franklin codified his own list of 13 virtues he strived to uphold. At the end of every week, we would look back and judge how well he did hoping to practice and improve.

While the specifics of improvement areas and methods will vary from individual to individual, Benjamin Franklin stands as a shining role model for any who wish to carry on the path of improvement.