One of the things my coaching clients find most difficult about life during and after divorce is the lack of energy and absence of desire to do the things they know they should be doing or that they would want to be doing if they weren't in so much pain or if they weren't feeling so numb.
In our first coaching call or two, we work together to come up with the outlines of buried dreams that they would like to live out, as well as practical tasks that they may have been putting off.
These things can be boring old to-do list items that they simply have no energy to attack, or they can be post-divorce-related activities such as how to fund retirement as a single woman, or how to find a better job/move into a new career.
New for 2017: I have a magical "how to get unstuck" free tutorial that you can download at the end of this post. So, please don't miss it. It's really good (based on my work with many many divorcees over the years). Don't want to wait, and just want the freebie now? Just let me know where to send it:
Introduction to the magical Pomodoro : )
I love to introduce friends and clients to the Pomodoro Technique, an easy tool to help anyone get started on onerous tasks -- based not on chunking a task down into baby steps per se, but instead, based on focusing effort on one task exclusively for a brief period of time without interruption. Click the link above to read more about the research that went into the development of this easy and effective life hack.
This is a get-it-done-without-burnout technique developed in the 1990s, and it uses any timer that you happen to have (kitchen timer, phone . . .), but I love the free Clockwork Tomato app that times a continuous loop of 25 work minutes and 5 rest minutes -- more on that in the next paragraph.
The original Pomodoro Technique concept is so simple. Each day, you write down the top 3 tasks you want most to accomplish. Then you use the timer to keep you on track to do rounds of working 25 minutes on a task (without allowing any interruptions) followed by a 5-minute break. After four 25-minute work/5-minute break segments, you take a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes.
Have I already lost you? "Three tasks?" you say.
You want to set me straight: "I'm hardly even functional, can't hold back the anger and tears, and I haven't slept through the night in months." If this is where you are in this moment, please don't stop reading yet. I have something special just for you. Scroll down to the bottom of this post because I have a step-by-step system so you can use this technique in a way that isn't too daunting right now.
But, back to the Pomodoro Technique . . .
No multitasking of any kind is allowed while you're running the timer. That means no answering the phone, checking email, looking at Facebook, or getting up from your task during the 25-minute segments (unless making phone calls *is* the task of your 25-minute segment). Get up, get coffee, run to the bathroom, or whatever, during the 5-minute or 15-minute break.
But, wait! You can use this for everything.
If you install the app on your phone rather than on your laptop, you can use the timer to be more productive with evening and weekend chores -- and get these exhausting tasks out of your way quickly. Once again, amazing. I can't wait for you to try this and see how quickly tasks are accomplished and how much time is freed up for self-care and fun.
When you're running your timer at home, you can be sure to fit in some exercise every day by making one 25-minute segment a physical activity. Or how about a 25-minute relaxation period that you don't usually allow yourself? When I'm swamped with more weekend work than I'd like, I schedule 25 minutes of chores followed by 25 minutes of fun in rotation until I'm finished with the annoying chores. The bonus is that the chores are completed and out of the way (rather than hanging over my head and dreaded), and there's more free-and-clear evening and weekend time to enjoy.
I hear you saying: What do you mean, without interruption?
Here's a suggestion on how to pleasantly handle interrupting colleagues, friends, or the kids:
Let them know when you'll attend to them. Deal with all of the interruptions in your next 5-minute rest period or 25-minute work segment and let them know how many minutes it will be until they have your undivided attention.
Undivided attention is much better than trying to handle their questions or concerns while simultaneously working on something else.
- Turn your phone to silent or airplane mode.
- If you have a door to the room in which you're working, close it.
- Put a sign up, letting everyone know when you'll be free.
- Don't have email, Facebook, or other enticing time-wasters open during Pomodoro time.
- Checking email just twice a day is a great practice to start now, if you'd like to start protecting more of your time for you. You can get through email much more quickly when it piles up and you have to be more selective about what you choose to view.
What if you can't even get your head around this post so far? What if just the idea of a to-do list makes you feel like crying?
But, what if you're at that stage of trying to heal emotionally post-divorce, and you can hardly get out of bed in the morning, let alone get excited about moving items off your to-do list and exercising in your newly found free time? "Exercising?" you say. "Rosetta, you must be mad."
I have something special for you.
I've worked with so many women to change their dread to excitement about getting unstuck around goals and desires.
So I wrote (brand new for 2017), a special free tutorial -- a 6-step process that uses the Pomodoro Technique to start, little-by-little to get back on your feet and back on track with life.
In developing this tool, I used my many years of experience in working with real-life divorcées who feel blocked by the daunting prospect of getting started on the path to recreating their lives -- and themselves.
If you're hurting (a lot!), but you also want to rejoin the living, start dreaming good dreams for your life (plus making them come true!), click through below, and get instant access to my newest free secrets on taking magic steps to move forward on the things you need (or want) to do.