Being quite a procrastinator and a time wasting guy is not easy. Many times I feel guilty for wasting my time and my employers money. At least it looks to me I am wasting them. This procrastination guilt kept piling up day after day and the feeling was not a nice one.
When the end of the working days arrives, everything left is a bitter taste in my mouth that reminds me “I didn’t do enough today”. But even having so many unproductive days my bosses think I am still being productive.
How can this be? Are they using a different measurement?
Maybe just quantifying the amount of guilt I had after a day was not a good way to assessing my productivity. Since I tend to be quite hard with myself, perhaps I was doing a bit better than I thought.
Then it came to me, I should have my own way of measuring what a satisfactory day was. I didn’t want to lie to myself and not to base my satisfaction on other people’s opinion.
Basically I wanted two know:
I needed a way to answer two questions:
Has my day been productive enough?
- So I don’t need to feel guilty.
Have I been so far today productive enough?
- So I can go home or start wasting my time guilt free.
And I found the pomodoro technique.
- Work uninterruptedly and hyper focused for chunks of 25 minutes (pomodoros). If somebody/something interrupts restart the pomodoro,
- Take 5 minutes breaks between pomodoros and a 25 minute break after 4 pomodoros.
My goal was not to do a lot of pomodoros, but just to do enough pomodoros to be satisfied.
How To Get Rid Of Procrastination Guilt
- Spend 2 or 3 days using the pomodoro technique and working hard.
- Count the number (P) of pomodoros of each satisfactory day.
- Try every day to finish P pomodoros, at least.
In my case 6 pomodoros is the minimum to not call it a wasted day. On the upper side, 8 or 9 pomodoros equate to a satisfactory day. 10 or more is a ballpark day. What is your ideal number of pomodoros?
Now when I start late my working day I know how many pomodoros I need to compensate in order to be happy.
The pomodoro technique is also useful if I want to spend part of my time on side projects, I make sure I have finished 6 or 7 pomodoros before hand. Then I can move onto something else guilt-free. It is that simple.