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Mtaka Cha Mvunguni Sharti Ainame

The English translation of this Swahili proverb is:
If you want to get the things that are under the bed, you must bend your back to reach them.
In other words, you’ve got to do the work. 😭 😢

When I was younger my dad told me several times: “The bad news is there are no short cuts! You’ve got to do the work 😓. As a child, who wants to hear this?? You wish you could just close your eyes, open them and afew seconds later….🪄 Taraaaa! (Shhh! Even as an adult I sometimes wish so too 😅).

As kids we kept hearing we need to work hard. Strange how when we exchange childhood stories each person’s parent was always top of their class.🤨🤔
In school, the teachers tell our children to work hard all the time. As parent, we sing the same song.

Let’s be honest. Working hard is one thing, but I think starting and keeping up the momentum is actually the main thing.
Starting a task is always sooooo arrgghhhhh 😣. You know you need to do it, but the thought of even starting is just draining and procrastination becomes your BFF 👯‍♀️.

I was listening to a podcast a little while ago on “doing the work” and came across the Pomodoro Technique developed by Francesco Cirillo.
For me, this is the next best thing after sliced bread. 🙌🏾🙌🏾(I wonder which came first.)

As a university student, Francesco was struggling to put in the work required for his studies and completion of his assignments on time. He needed to come up with a method that would help him stay focused for 10 minutes. Determined to find a way to win, he found a timer in the kitchen in the shape of a tomato (pomodoro in Italian), and voila, the Pomodoro Technique was born.

How it works:
1. Choose the task
2. Set a timer for 25 minutes
3. Work on the task until the timer goes off.
4. Take a short break of 5 minutes
5. Repeat the cycle

I use this technique to get my work done.
My kids are also now using it to do their school studies and get their extracurricular activity practices in like piano, guitar etc and it’s AMAZING how much we all get done.
Infact, they noticed a huge improvement in their last exam grades because of this.
Our new language now is, how many pomodoros are you planning to do?
How many did you get done? 😀

For me, this is simply how the work gets done; little by little and before you know it, the jar is full and you’re off to fill the next one.

Hope this technique helps you and the kids accomplish those daunting tasks that have felt overwhelming or have been on the “I’m going to start shelf”.

Happy Pomodoro-ing 😁

Ps: I looked up when sliced bread was invented and it was in July 1928; quite an interesting story. Check it out here. The Pomodoro technique was over 50 years later in the late 1980’s 😉.

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