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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.

Summer.

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How to Get Away Without Actually Getting Away

Posted on 31 May 2017 by sam

Summer is a great time to take a breather from work. In lots of industries, Summer is a slow time, so it’s relatively easy to take some time off without missing out on too much. Vacations can be expensive though, not to mention stressful, and sometimes it’s not feasible to get on a plane or in the car and actually go somewhere far away from home.

Enter, the “stay-cation.” You can get away from home for a night and stay in a hotel nearby, or, to save money, you can act like you’re on vacation in your own city. Get out and explore. Walk around, try new restaurants. Go to museums. Go shopping. Find a nearby hiking trail. Check out some theater or a concert. Whatever you need to go to get away. Do some research ahead of time. You’d probably be surprised at how much your area has to offer!

Often times, however, what you need to take a break from work is to truly unwind and slow down. And, if that’s what you’re after, you can go on vacation without ever leaving your house. One option is to create your own spa day. Light some candles and do an at-home facial, manicure, or pedicure. Another easy way to unwind while at home is doing a movie day. Or, you could try that recipe that you’ve had on your list, but have never had time for.

As long as you’re taking time to do something that you enjoy, it’s good time that you’re taking! Really enjoy those days off, whether that means going out and doing a bunch of things you’ve always wanted to do or simply sitting home on the couch with your significant other. If gaming is your thing, you could spend some time playing online games, either alone or with others. If you’re a sports fan, get out and catch a game before it gets too hot.

Truly checking out is often easier said than done. Oftentimes, we plan to take the day off but one e-mail turns into two, and then ten. A phone call turns into three and then four, and by the time it’s 6:00pm, you haven’t really taken a break at all.

Whatever your “thing” is, take some time and do it. You’ll go back to work refreshed. Your family, your body, your mind, and yes, even your job, will thank you.

A New PSU? Calculate Your Power Requirements

A New PSU? Calculate Your Power Requirements

Posted on 29 December 2013 by sam

Power Supply

If you’re building a new PVR or HTPC, it can difficult to pick the right wattage for your power supply (PUS). You don’t want it too high because this costs extra money and noise. But you certainly don’t want it too low because this can result in many different problems.

This tools will help you out.

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3 HTPC Builds, Pick and Build Your Favorite

3 HTPC Builds, Pick and Build Your Favorite

Posted on 08 November 2013 by sam

PVR’s and HTPC’s have become much more than simple media players. You can game on them and, if you really want, you can even get some work done on them.

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Your Own Multiroom Setup

Your Own Multiroom Setup

Posted on 11 June 2013 by sam

The pinnacle of every home entertainment enthusiast has to be the multiroom system. Control audio and video in all of your rooms from one controller. Centralize your collection and use it anywhere. Read on to start building your affordable multiroom system.

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The spectacular Aeon Nox skin for XBMC

The Definitive Build Your Own Guide: Software

Posted on 27 November 2012 by sam

Now that you’ve got all the hardware, it’s time to actually use that PVR or HTPC you built. Some people get by using the same software they are used to on their normal computer. But you’ll soon notice that this isn’t very optimized for usage from the couch on a big screen TV. So it’s very much recommended to install custom media center and PVR software.

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The Definitive Build Your Own Guide: PVR Components

Posted on 26 November 2012 by sam

If you want to build your own personal video recorder (PVR), you will need most of the items on the HTPC shopping list and on top of that, you’ll need some way to tune to your TV channels and capture it. That’s what this article is all about.

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The Definitive Build Your Own Guide: Off-the-shelf and Ready to Use

Posted on 21 November 2012 by sam

In this part of the guide, we’ll focus on existing media devices that you can just buy and start using. It might seem strange to talk about ready made commercial off-the-shelf products in a build your own guide. However, there are quite a few instances where building your own machine is probably not the best solution.
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The Definitive Build Your Own Guide: HTPC Components

Posted on 18 November 2012 by sam

If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the shops, it’s time to build your own. In this article, I’ll give you a short overview of all the components in a home theater PC (HTPC) and provide you with some good picks.

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