This week’s blog post is written by Priya Patel. Priya Patel is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has 10 plus years of work experience ranging from young children, adolescents, young adults, and their families. In her private practice, she primarily focuses on adolescents and young adults as she specializes in navigating the challenges that can typically occur in this phase of life, such as stress, anxiety, depression, childhood PTSD and more.
While the complete elimination of stress is unrealistic, management of stress is an attainable and realistic goal that can be achieved by a number of techniques. Here are Priya’s personal favorite strategies for time and stress management:
- Decide on the ultimate goal for the day
- Reducing the chaos of your day
- Do those tasks as soon as possible
- Focus on the smallest part of your work at a time
- Visualize yourself working
- Control your internal distractions
- Remove external distractions
This method works well as a productivity timer because it forces you to focus on one thing at a time and practice task management within a time limit. It’s also effective because it asks you to aim for something that’s actually achievable. The 25-minute intervals you’re expected to work and refrain from distraction is a totally realistic goal.
Here are 6 simple steps to follow when you want to try the Pomodoro productivity timer:
- Step 1: Pick a task. Remember you can only focus on one thing, so prioritize accordingly.
- Step 2: Set your timer for 25 minutes. You can use the timer on your phone, an online timer, a time-tracking app, or you can take it up a notch and get yourself a tomato-shaped kitchen timer.
- Step 3: Work on the selected task. For the next 25 minutes, shut off distractions and completely immerse yourself in what’s in front of you.
- Step 4: When you hear the timer go off, stop working and put a checkmark on a piece of paper.
- Step 5: Take a short break, and make sure it doesn’t exceed 5 minutes!
- Step 6: After you have 4 checkmarks on your piece of paper, you can take a longer break of about 15 to 30 minutes. After that, restart your count and repeat steps 1 to 5 until you reach another 4 checkmarks where you can take another longer break.
Things to do during a 5-minute break
- Drink water/coffee/beverage
- Move your body
- Go outside
- Check your phone
- Practicing mindfulness/mediation
- App: Calm
- App: UCLA Guided Mediation
- Reflection journal
- Set boundaries
- Utilize support system/delegate
- Receiving optimal hours of sleep
- Take a break
- Engaging in activities you enjoy-art, singing/instrument, cooking, games, etc
If you have any thoughts or questions regarding these strategies and tools, please reach out at email@example.com
Learn more about therapy with Priya at www.hopeandfaiththerapy.com