I have discovered a simple yet effective technique to increase my productivity when writing. I started using the site http://www.mytomatoes.com a few weeks ago, and have been more writing done since. This is how it works:
Each “tomato” is 25 minutes long. When you click on “Start Tomato,” you start working/writing. And that’s all you do for 25 minutes. No washroom breaks. No facebook breaks. No e-mail. When the 25 minutes is up a bell rings, and you earn a 5 minute break. The site prompts you to document what you did for the 25 minutes, so you can track how you are spending your time. When the 5 minute break is up, another bell will ring and you are back to work!
I have found this technique so effective, and fun. I like “collecting tomatoes,” and I find 25 minutes is a good length of time to stay “in the zone.” I would highly recommend it to any writers out there! Below is a link to a short video explaining the pomodoro technique in more detail.