The hack you need as a dyslexic to get things done fast & without stress!
Let's set the scene for a moment. You are sitting at your desk with what feels like an insanely long to-do list, but instead of getting things done, you are scrolling Instagram, stalking your ex on Twitter, or maybe reading this article. You tell yourself you will stop in a second and get to work on that report for work, then you look at the clock, and another 45 minutes have passed. Sound like something you struggle with?
First, know you are not alone. Most dyslexics struggle with prioritization, task initiation, time management/blindness, and working memory. We get easily distracted, and starting things goes against our nature.
After our Masterclass with Mike Tickle on Breaking Down Big Tasks, we got to thinking. Now that we know how to break things down in a dyslexia-friendly way, we need to figure out how to get started! Enter the Pomodoro Technique. We are quickly going to chat about what it is, how to make it dyslexic-friendly, and how it helps people with dyslexia.
What is the Pomodoro Technique?
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management system that creates urgency and helps individuals focus.
There are 5 simple steps to the Pomodoro Technique, and you need nothing more than a smartphone with a timer to try it out.
Pick the task you want to tackle
Set a time for 25 minutes (or less)
Work on the task you picked
Take a 5-10 minute break when the timer ends (this counts as one Pomodoro)
Repeat the above steps 3 more times.
After you have done 3 Pomodoros, take a 30-minute break. Then repeat the whole process.
Adapting the Pomodoro Technique for Dyslexics:
Make your work sessions only as long as you can focus. If you work best in 15-minute spurts with 15-minute breaks, do that.
Take your breaks! It is tempting to ignore the rest time when you get into the flow. Your mind needs time to slow down and run wild to focus (think of it as a balancing act).
Keep your phone away from you during your working time and close out any tabs or alerts that you are not using/need. Decreasing your distractions increases your likely hood of success.
How does the Pomodoro Technique Help Dyslexics?
The timer creates a sense of urgency to spur you to work (most of us do well with a tight deadline).
Setting a timer helps stop time blindness from setting in and gives perspective on how long tasks take.
Forced breaks protect your brain from the burnout that is often accompanied by focusing too long.
The one task per Pomodoro helps decrease multitasking, decreasing the number of distractions and unfinished tasks.
The Pomodoro Technique might not at first feel natural, but give it a try for a few days, and we hope you will see an improvement. And hey, if it does not work for you, don't worry; every person with dyslexia is different and needs to find their own systems.
Know of any other techniques that can help dyslexic adults? Have you tried the Pomodoro Technique? Be sure to leave us a comment on your thoughts!