Editing and Burnt Out? Use the Tiny Reverse Pomodoro Technique

Many (most? all??) of us are burnt out but still have deadlines we have to hit. These videos aren’t going to edit themselves. Hush over there, AI people. Here is a strategy that I use when I need to get stuff done but haven’t the willpower to move my mouse. I call it the Tiny Reverse Pomodoro Technique.

If you are burnt out, overwhelmed, overworked, or just darn tired the Pomodoro Technique is not going to work. At least that’s how it is for me. I can’t muster the courage to scroll the timer on my phone to 20 minutes and commit to working on a project. Nope. Back over to Reddit or check Outlook for the 10,000th time.

You are probably aware of the Pomodoro Technique. TL;DR you work for ~20 minutes non-stop 100% focused on your task and then you take a ~5-minute break. Repeat three times and then take a ~20 minute break. Repeat the entire cycle (20/5/20/5/20/30) throughout your day. There are probably 180 different spammy “companies” that will try to sell you a timer that looks like a tomato on Amazon.

If you’re like me than often a 20-minute work session sounds like torture. For the Tiny Reverse Pomodoro Technique, instead of a 20-minute work session followed by a 5-minute break, let’s flip it around. Doesn’t a 5-minute work session followed by a 20-minute break sound much more appetizing? If you know that you are going to give yourself a guilt-free 20-minute break to do whatever you want like watch an It’s Always Sunny rerun, couldn’t you find a bit of energy to do the next tiny thing on your editing project (or project of any kind)?

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Heck, let’s shrink it down even more if 5 minutes still looks like a mountain. Can you do a minute? What about 30 seconds? And then give yourself a break before jumping back into your project.

A lot of the time when the 5 minutes feels daunting I’ll commit to one minute. And before I know it I’m 2.5 minutes in. Cool, I just did 150% extra of what I committed to doing. That’s a win. I made progress. Give yourself a quick break then jump right back in for another minute. Repeat for as long as you can. That’s the Tiny Reverse Pomodoro Technique.

Maybe my project won’t get done in the next couple of hours. I’ll never get into “deep work” and that ever-elusive “flow state”. But I kept my sanity and made progress. Sometimes that’s all we can do. And remember, most deadlines are sh!t anyway.

I hope you found this helpful. Hang in there.

If you enjoyed this post on the Tiny Reverse Pomodoro Technique, I hope you stick around and check out some of the tutorials on my website or consider signing up to get notified about new posts and happenings around EVF.

– Josh

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