An obvious contradiction that we all face is the contrast between normal working life and what is required to make good progress in the weight room or with body composition. More often than not, working (in most forms) means long stints behind a computer on uncomfortable chairs in compromised positions, it may also mean we neglect the simple requirements like getting enough water, hitting macros and soft tissue work. Our time is at the mercy of someone or something else and it’s easy to lose sight of our training goals when deadlines encroach and to-do lists build.

I know I was meant to squat tonight but I’ve just got sooo much work on…
I know I should have hit my macros but I didn’t have time to prepare food…
I know sitting is bad for me, but there’s no way around it….
All examples of our day to day lives getting in the way of our much sought after progress.
Recently, I came across a concept called the Pomodoro technique. It’s a method of time management that is intended to enhance productivity while protecting your free time. I’ll provide a brief summary here and defer to the resource where I learned about it: 
1) a pomodoro is 25 minutes of uninterrupted work. You should feircley protect this time in order to ensure the technique functions as planned.
2) after each pomodoro comes a 5 minute break, you spend this time detaching from work
3) after 4 pomodoros you take a 15-30 minute break
4) you allocate tasks for the day and work in blocks of 4 untill you complete the tasks. This prevents the mindset of working for the sake of hitting an arbitrary number of hours and makes sure your free time is indeed free of work.

How does this help our fitness goals?
By our nature, we have a limited attention span. If something is unlimited, it can become overwhelming and the less constrained a task is, the less likely we are to achieve it. By boxing time into 25 minute chunks, we increase the chance of meeting mini goals throughout the day. This means that our work doesn’t just bleed into all hours of the day, polluting your free time like a weak cordial. Instead, we create super-concertrated blocks of intense focus and facilitate stress-free time both during and at the end of the day.
The technique allows us to blend training goals into the work day, effortlessly. Whats more, by boxing time into chunks and focussing on productivity, we ensure that we have enough free time to fit in the gym or other activities.
Why is work bad? 
To create a good counter-strike plan against the evil desk, we need to know what harm its causing us:
– poor posture/position: you spend time with the hips locked in flexion, tightening the anterior capsule and surrounding musculature. Your shoulders round to the front of the socket, T-spine becomes stiff and you place large loads through the lumbar spine
– you’re more likely to make poor nutritional choices due to either limited availability, social pressure or habit
– you’re likely to neglect things like water intake, supplements and other daily tasks you may need to check off.
pomodoro
How to use the Pomodoro technique
The obvious benefits are time management at work, enhanced productivity and less stress induced by work related deadlines and tasks.
– stay in a good position, stay braced with good posture and re-adjust every 25 minutes (works out at twice per hour). Here’s the master explaining how to sit correctly
– drink 500ml of water per pomodoro limiting your total intake to 4-5L and include any tea/coffee/soft drinks in this allowance-> once in the morning and once in the afternoon, add some salts to your water.
– stretch every other break -> stretch anterior hips and anterior shoulder/chest to counter-act sitting
– breaks in-between: plan/log your training, make some coffee and grab a protein shake, pop some fish oil and meditate for 2-3 minutes, perform super-sets of chins and press-ups
– use longer breaks for some cardio, yoga or light static stretching, prepare food for your next meal or just relax!
This method is a powerful way to protect your spare time: have tasks, be diligent and work during the assigned time, the rest of the day is your own. Whats better, you’re mindful through the whole day. Its no longer the case that you’re at the gym thinking you should be working – you have a master plan and mini-goals you need to hit that day, you’ll finish work later!
I hope you enjoy this technique as much as I have and that it brings new enthusiasm to your work and productivity practices.

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