Advertisement
Workflow

Quick Tip: Pomodoro Technique to the Creative Rescue

by

In some situations, we need to be creative quickly and effectively (we've all been in situations where there's a deadline looming in just a few hours). For example, perhaps a client wants last-minute changes, or a pitch is coming close and you want to make a great impression, but your presentation is still missing something.


Don't Stress!

There's a wonderful technique which makes it possible to boost your creative thinking in a short amount of time. Some of you probably recognize the Pomodoro Technique as a method for increasing your productivity. However, its philosophy of providing a flow and focus can also be perfect for your last-minute creative needs.

The concept behind the Pomodoro Technique lies in spending short intervals of time paying dedicated attention to something you're doing. So, as you prepare for a Pomodoro session, turn off your phone, disable any form of notifications and stay focused. No social networks or news websites, or any other websites which aren't relevant to what you're doing. I mean it.

You'll spend two hours working towards your outcome. During this time, you'll relax, work and think. Find a quiet place (I suggest not using your standard working space), take your work equipment with you (don't forget pen and paper) and have a timer ready. Your phone will do, as long as you can't be disturbed. No calls, no push notifications.


Let's Do This

  1. Start and define what you want to achieve. Put it on paper. It should be pretty obvious as the deadline's close. For example, you need a new creative concept.
  2. Begin with browsing for inspiration which is relevant to your goal. Stick to relevant and dedicated websites, such as Behance or Dribbble for example, for 25 minutes. Afterwards, take a short break of 5 minutes (grab a drink, go outside, ..).
  3. Great, now use this inspiration and try to solve your problem, again limit yourself to 25 minutes. Take notes, make sketches, get your ideas on paper. Start with the obvious and keep writing, even if you believe some ideas are terrible. 25 minutes over? Okay, let it go.
  4. Take a break of 35 minutes. Go do something which is completely irrelevant to what you were doing. When you first do this, it might be hard to let go of your deadline, but practice makes perfect. It's advised you stay away from the internet and do something you enjoy (for example, cook your dinner, grab a book, go for a run outside, ...)
  5. Use your final 25 minutes to finish what you started. Often, you'll have had new insights during this interval which, at least, provide progress to the final solution. As you get more experienced, you're often able to simply solve your problem.

What's the Secret?

As you analyze this method you notice that we're only being really productive for about 50 minutes. The outcome might be amazing if you compare that to results of lengthy meetings and uninspiring trial and error. The idea is, once again; flow and focus. First of all, by truly achieving full focus and restricting yourself in time you force yourself to reach a new height of productivity and creativity.

Besides, having physical triggers such as a timer, a different location, taking a break or entering a new interval is a direct way of preparing yourself mentally for the upcoming task. Instead of focusing on the deadline, you change your focus to your given task.

What are your tips if you need creativity and you need it fast?

Related Posts
  • Business
    Productivity
    How to Use the Getting Things Done (GTD) Productivity System8 preview gtd productivity system
    Do you ever forget to complete important tasks? Or do you feel like you're drowning in responsibilities? If so, you're not alone. Overwhelm is such a common phenomenon in today's world that productivity experts have developed systems for dealing with it. One of the most popular is Getting Things Done (GTD). Let's take a look at how it works—and how you can implement it in your own life.Read More…
  • Business
    Productivity
    How to Stop Procrastinating and Start Working4 preview stop procrasting start working
    Do you frequently find yourself doing exactly what you shouldn't be doing during work hours? Have you ever logged onto Facebook "for five minutes," only to find yourself still there two hours later? Or spent an afternoon watching cat videos when you should have been working on a project? Procrastination can eat away at your work day and is a major problem for around 20% of people. So what can you do about it?Read More…
  • Business
    Productivity
    How to Be Happy and Get More Done3 preview be happy get more done
    How often have you uttered the phrase "I'll be happy when..."? On a small level, you might tell yourself you'll be happy when your work for the day is done. On a larger scale, you might reassure yourself you'll be happy once you've saved enough to take early retirement, or written a book, or visited Europe. But what if you could be happy right now, and get even more done because you're feeling good?Read More…
  • Business
    Productivity
    How to Maintain a Razor Sharp FocusPreview razor sharp focus productivity
    Do you find that you're easily distracted from the work you're meant to be doing? Don't worry - you're not alone. In this article, I'll give you tools to blitz distractions and make your focus razor sharp.Read More…
  • Web Design
    Interface
    How to Become a Conversion-Centered DesignerUnbounce
    So you want to be a landing page template designer? You may think you have it easy - after all, landing page templates are just a single page. That’s much easier than designing a full-on website. But the rules of design change quite a bit when building conversion-centered landing pages.Read More…
  • Web Design
    Workflow
    Three Simple Steps to Higher Output and Greater CreativityMike thumb
    The beginning of a new year is filled with a massive amount of energy and resolve, people setting out to find new ways of thinking and working that can bring them closer in line with their goals. This post is going to give you, a web designer and developer, both practical steps and conceptual advice to help you reach a higher level of output and a more consistent flow of creativity.Read More…