Friday, June 7, 2024

The Pomodoro Method X Quilting / Beauties Pageant 254

There is a serious backlog at From Bolt to Beauty world headquarters right now. Regular life and house administration, bigger non-quilty projects ... pretty much everything was put on hold while I finished my manuscript. Then, once I submitted that to the publisher, my younger son and I came down with Covid. (It was unpleasant, but we’re both perfectly fine now.) Life really came to a grinding halt at that point, and my to-do list continued to grow while we sat on the couch, watched bad TV, and drank apple juice.

So here we are: It’s early June. My kids have three more days of school. That is to say, I have three more days to do all the things. All. The. Things. But where do I start when my to-do list is overwhelmingly long?

I start with a 25-minute timer.

When there is too much to do or when it’s hard to prioritize the tasks at hand, I use the Pomodoro Technique to help me with focus and structure. The process is easy: I choose something from my to-do list, set a timer for 25 minutes, and focus on that task until time is up. After, I take a 5-minute break, set the timer again, and return to that task or a different one. Once I’ve completed a few rounds of work, I can take a longer break.

I am not super legalistic about following this structure—there are plenty of times when, say, my alarm goes off and I reset it without taking a break—but using the Pomodoro Technique helps me make measurable progress. It also prevents me from allowing one job to take over an entire morning. Yesterday I spent time looking for accommodations for a summer trip. At the end of 50 minutes, I knew I needed to shelve the project, talk to my husband about our options, and return to it later.

I’ve accomplished a lot over the past week. I’ve cleared out my bedroom, painted it, and had new furniture delivered. I’ve taken the dogs to the vet and scheduled their stays at the boarder for upcoming vacations. I’ve even chipped away at some quilty to-dos. In 25-minute increments, I’ve posted some lots of fabric, including the batiks at the top of the post, to my shop at FeelGood Fibers. I also cut some of the novelty fabrics I will need for the Summer Book Club quiltalong.

You may be wondering what this technique has to do with pomodoro tomatoes. Do you remember those old-school kitchen timers shaped as tomatoes? They’re the origin of the name, and if you have one at your house, it would be much cooler to use than the boring timer that I am using on my phone!

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  1. I'm so glad you and your son are fully recovered from COVID. The Pomodoro method can be really super handy, and it's often how I get unstuck from steps I put off in quilting (*cough cough* basting)!

  2. I'm glad you're feeling better now. Enjoy the summer chaos with your sons! The pattern came in yesterday's mail, thank you!

  3. Tackling a to-do list in your manner is a great method. I will sometimes choose a least favorite "duty" such as cleaning the bathroom and then "reward" myself with a session of sewing or quilting or reading (whatever may be my fancy for the day). Thanks for the chance to share with everyone. Blessings, M

  4. Congrats on the manuscript! Too bad about COVID. I like the idea of the timer.

  5. It's still surprising to know COVID continues to attack people, but I'm very glad the strain isn't as virulent as in 2020. It will always be amazing to me that the world suffered through that. As for your to-dos, I admire you for how you're systematically handling your tasks. I've never heard of the Pomodoro method, but it makes complete sense. It's a healthy way to "eat an elephant," so to speak. Keep up the good work!

  6. Glad you have both recovered well! xo


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