Do A Task: Focus using a System Thinking Pomodoro Technique

How to keep focused on doing a task

Do A Task: Focus using a System Thinking Pomodoro Technique


Quick Summary

  • 3 min read
  • How we quickly log a task, keep motivated, keep us productive and help us learn more about our optimal ways of working.

Why we created the Do A Task System

 

We all love those days when we are bursting with creative, entrepreneurial energy and up for any task. We jump head first into it and knock it out. You don’t even bother with task lists, right? You just get the job done. I used to do this a lot. Unfortunately, I would also have days where I just didn’t have the energy and procrastinated about the task until I realised hours have gone by and I still haven’t managed to psych myself up for it.

How do I break this habit of extreme highs and lows?

I realised it was time to set myself up with a simple task system to get me in the habit of making progress in small steps no matter what my enthusiasm levels were.

  • When I lack energy, this System should pick me up.
  • When I am on a high, this System should keep me focused.

Here we are setting out to design a System when taking on task, that will motivate us to keep going, keep us productive and help us learn more about our optimal ways of working.

We will send you some great emails about systems you can use

Why is such a system useful?

  • It helps us focus on completing micro tasks for macro goals.
  • It helps us get better with time management as we develop a habit.
  • It motivates us to keep going.

Visualised As a System Thinking Model

Before we log a task, here is the gif of our system thinking model for the Do A Task System.

This model consists of a mixture of balancing and reinforcing loops that creates a sustainable system.

You can imagine if you have too much or too little of one part of the system, you will disrupt the flow which is not good.

The key is always to balance the flow to what works.

Take a minute to watch the flow.



Set Up

OK, the Grow Trees part above might have caused a bit of confusion so let me talk more about that.
I was searching for a timer app to help me implement the Pomodoro Technique. Basically, 25 minutes of uninterrupted work on a particular task. I came across an app which is available on Apple and Android devices called Forest - Stay Focused
Forest - Stay Focused

Forest - Stay Focused

Forest - Stay Focused, is a paid for App. You could simply use a stopwatch but what I loved about this app is that if you reach the end of the timer, you can grow virtual trees and earn virtual points for add-ons.

Also, if you earn enough points you can use them to grow real trees supported by Trees for the Future - Sustainable Giving for a Sustainable Impact.

What a great incentive that is to keep us going that little bit harder.

Now, if you get distracted by an email, text alert or other notification and decide to leave the app - YOUR VIRTUAL TREE WILL DIE!

The first time I tried this - I got 14 notifications within 25 minutes. It really highlighted how many little distractions we get these days.

Nobody wants their virtual tree to die so, I make sure to put my phone on Airplane Mode to limit distractions for the 25 minutes. You will be surprised what you can get done with 25 minutes of no distractions.

Next, record your task information.

Data Collection: Log a task

I am going to show you how we apply this model to ourselves. Have a look at the questions we use in our TypeForm.

You do not need to submit information; this is just for demonstration purposes - any data captured in this form will be deleted.

 

There is nothing advanced happening here and you can do the same in your free Typeform account if you have one. Click referral link TypeForm Referral Link to try it out.

Extra Tip

For those parentrepreneurs out there working at home and can't even seem to find 25 mins for themselves, set up a task for your kids to clean their room in 25 mins to grow a tree!
This tip worked a treat for me however I'm sure they will grow out of this very soon 🙂

Join the conversation and get creative!

We don’t always get it right so we welcome constructive feedback. Please get involved and leave your updates on the Facebook post and start a conversation with other Systempreneurs, entrepreneurs and small business owners on how you think it could be improved.

Or even make changes yourself using the following link: Play and remix the model yourself on Nicky Case's website http://ncase.me and post your system thinking samples.

What's Next

Next, we show you how we can leverage the data behind the model to help tweak our time management planning to find out what works for us.

Feedback

Please let us know what you think by using the feedback form here.

This form was created using Typeform. Typeform lets you build beautiful online forms & surveys with great completion rates. Click referral link TypeForm Referral Link to try it out. If you upgrade, we both get 10% off for life! You can do some really cool stuff on the FREE account too!


If you haven't already, don't forget to subscribe.

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About The Author

Glenn Renwick

Hi guys! I'm Glenn, the business development director here at Analyse That®. I would describe myself as a life-long learner with a passion for finding efficient and productive ways of working. You will see me tinkering away, writing, designing and developing systems that drive our business forward and hopefully yours too. Want to know more? See my journey that led to this blog

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