Are you having a problem getting your engine revved up for the New Year? I hear ‘ya. I’m an expert at procrastination myself. I can find any number of things to do (dust the wall, clean the fridge, slop the pigs). Anything but what is waiting for me on my desk. I know I should go work on that pile over there, but sometimes it’s really tough to do that. Then I came across this little technique that is actually working for me and I’m going to introduce you to it in this post.


Perhaps you have already heard of this? It is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillos in the 1980’s. He used a timer to break down work periods into 25 minute segments, separating each by a short break. The intervals are known as “pomododri”, the plural of the Italian word pomodoro or “tomato”. So, do you feel smarter for knowing that? Ya, me neither. But this method is based on the idea that frequent breaks can improve mental agility.

Oh, almost forgot the most important part. The timer Mr. Cirillos used was shaped like a tomato. Sigh. Although very interesting and rather unusual, I doubt that this fact will improve your success rate. Still, food for thought.

There are five simple steps to implementing the technique. They are basic and low tech. Anybody can use this method.

  1. Decide on the task to be done
  2. Set the pomodoro timer to 25 minutes (or any amount you desire)
  3. Work on the task until the timer rings
  4. Take a short break (3–5 minutes)
  5. After four pomodori, take a longer break (15–30 minutes). This is exceptionally good for focus and can improve your concentration and attention span.


Yes, I hate it when I procrastinate, but in this New Year I have to take a hard look at myself. I’ve already proven to myself that I can do all kinds of things and be productive in a ton of ways.

For me, being more productive is seductive, but if I’m honest with myself what I really need is to schedule more REST times. Are you, too, the kind of person that works on and on without a break? Do you feel guilty if you’re not working?

It can become an obsession – and is that good for us, really, in the long run?

We like the idea of being busy because we sound important, but that’s not really getting us anywhere because we rarely stop to ask why we’re rushing through all this work to begin with

It should be about doing the right amount of work in less time so we have the time for all the nothing we want to do.

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Let’s see a show of hands. How many of you would feel guilty if you have down time to do absolutely nothing, and you don’t use it for something?

I can’t speak for you, but at the beginning of this New Year I’m taking a look at possible changes in my life. What is fun and what’s not. What should definitely stay and what could go. Is anyone doing the same? Is this the year for changes, or just thinking about changes? Time will tell. No tomato timer needed.

If you already have your engine zooming up-to-speed, you could join the 30-day Painting Challenge hosted by Leslie Saeta during the entire month of January. One painting a day for 30 days. Go for it you over-achievers!

You’ll find it at:

Welcome to 2015 and thank you starting it out by reading this blog.

Kathie xo

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