The Pomodoro Technique and ADD/ADHD
Everyone has experienced, to some extent, difficulties in concentrating and getting easily distracted from time to time. This can often lead to procrastination and reduced productivity.
Abilities in staying focused and on task, managing time and planning ahead, vary from person to person, but there are some who find these activities particularly challenging and troublesome: if you have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) the daily responsibilities become a lot more difficult to manage!
While it is true that ADD and ADHD create multiple challenges, it is possible to get focused and turn chaos into calm. By educating yourself and taking advantage of specific techniques, it is possible to learn to manage even the most acute symptoms and become more organized, productive, and in control of specific areas of your life.
- Planning ahead
- Managing time and marking the passing of time
- Staying focused, avoiding distractions
- Putting off activities that are not interesting and stimulating
The Pomodoro Technique has helped many people around the world improve their productivity using a very simple principle: using a kitchen timer to break down work-devoted time into 25 minute-long periods and working during these short periods in bursts of concentration and productivity.
Each period is followed by a short break and the use of the technique can be evolved over time in order to achieve 6 progressive objectives including: finding out how much effort an activity requires, cutting down on interruptions, estimating the effort required for activities, making the Pomodoro more effective, setting up a timetable and using the technique to achieve your own personal improvement objectives.
- Improving awareness of the passage of time by providing an external cue (the Pomodoro timer) to indicate elapsed time, thus addressing a time management problem associated with ADD/ADHD that leads to being late to appointments, late to work, missing deadlines, etc.
- Improving the ability to plan ahead on a daily basis. This is extremely difficult wtih ADD/ADHD, but by breaking down your time and planning activities according to specific time slots, it will be more likely that you will be able to fit everything in!
- Increasing the ability to stay focused because you work for short periods of time, with several breaks. This leads to a reduction in distractions and tiredness, which are common in ADD/ADHD.
- Providing a way to manage distractions and interruptions – this is possible by writing down any thoughts that come into your mind and scheduling them in for a later time of the day or during the following break.
- Helping to separate work time from free time – this is often hard to do in ADD/ADHD, but by setting up a timetable and by using the Pomodoro only for work activities, you will be able to separate work time from free time.
- Increasing motivation and productivity – with ADD/ADHD, motivation to start tasks is low, especially ones that are demanding and not very interesting. By using the Pomodoro, tasks become rewarding because you keep a check of how much you have achieved and are motivated to do more!
- Improving work efficiency – Efficiency is a problem with ADD/ADHD because of the distractions and lack of concentration and motivation. With the Pomodoro Technique, it is possible to cut down the distractions, increase concentration, stay on task and complete a task!
- Increasing organization by breaking down activities and periods of time in order to make one’s work and study goals more specific, manageable and achievable.
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