By Ronda Simmons
Anthony Trollope did it. Can you?
Mr. Trollope was an English novelist of the Victorian era most well-known for a series of books called The Chronicles of Barsetshire.
He wrote 47 novels in 32 years along with plays, nonfiction books, and short stories. He also worked full-time as a post office inspector.
He was a contemporary of George Elliot and Wilkie Collins. Both authors admired Trollope, as does Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downton Abbey.
Here Is How He Did It.
Trollope wrote from five to eight o'clock every morning before breakfast. He spent a half an hour reviewing, and then he would write until it was time to leave for work.
To maximize his effectiveness, he'd place his pocket watch on his desk and commit to writing 250 words every 15 minutes.
He blocked out all distractions, except for the ticking of his watch, thus preventing him from nibbling his pen and gazing at the wall. No writer's block. No multitasking.
Time Writing Taken to The Next Level.
A variation of Trollope's timed writing method is called the Pomodoro Technique. Created by an Italian college student, named Fracesco Cirillo, to help focus his studies.
He used a kitchen timer and would concentrate on the task at hand for 25 minutes. One pomodoro. He would take a five minute break and begin the timer again. After four pomodori, roughly two hours of work, he would allow himself a longer break.
Why Pomodoro? Cirillo used a tomato-shaped timer. Pomodoro is Italian for tomato. Che figaga!
To use the Pomodoro method you only need a timer. During the Pomodoro, turn off all notifications. No texts. No emails. No phone calls. During the break, leave the writing space. Walk away. Move around. Stretch. Meditate.
Once you've earned a longer break, take a snack. Run your errands. Answer those neglected notifications.
Does every day need all four Pomodori? No. Today, for me, was a one Pomodoro day. That's all right. 25 minutes of focused writing time is better than a half-day traveling around the interwebs.
Give the Trollope method or the Pomodoro technique a try. Track your productivity.
The Pomodoro Technique leveled up:
The Marinara timer is a customizable app allowing for work times, rest times, and longer breaks. I average three Pomodori before I need a longer break. Your tomato mileage may vary.
Breaking Down The Sauce:The Pomodoro Technique: is it right for you?
The Pomodoro Technique - Staying Focused Throughout the Day
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