So you are working flat out, you are constantly under pressure, you are losing your work-life balance and you are thinking: this is not working but how do I change things. Well, there is a simple answer on how to improve your productivity as well as your overall health and well-being all at the same time.

Many people mistakenly believe that slaving away in front of computer for hours every day will mean that eventually you will get through the work. But the truth is, sitting for long periods actually reduces productivity. But more alarming than this is the research that clearly suggests that people who sit for long periods suffer many adverse health effects. This is because your body needs to have blood flowing in order to get oxygen to individual cells. Without movement, our cells suffer and our whole body feels tired and sluggish. Even huge bouts of exercise cannot combat the negative effects of sitting for long periods.

But the good news is, there is a simple solution and it is called The Tomato Technique. The name comes from the original device that was a simple kitchen timer in the shape of a tomato. The technique requires you to use a timer but most computers have this built in or you can use one on your phone. The technique has 5 basic principles that you need to implement:

1. You decide on a task to be done
2. Set the timer for 25 mins
3. You work on the task until the timer rings, mark your progress on the task
4. Take a short break (3-5mins) This break must involve you standing up and moving around
5. Every 4 sessions of 25 mins, you need to take a longer break (15-30mins)

The stages of planning, tracking, recording and visualising are key to your success. When you are planning, you should create a “TO DO” list for that day and break down tasks in to small chunks. When you complete a task, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and this adds to your overall feeling of purpose and achievement.

I would encourage you to try this for one day and see how you go. I told a client recently of this technique. She works from a home office and she tried it on a Monday, her busiest day in the office. She was so excited to let me know that she used the technique and felt that the day had flown by and she had completed so much work. In her short breaks, she would get up and do small tasks around the house. At the end of the day instead of feeling exhausted, she told me she felt like she had somehow cheated and not worked much even though she had accomplished so much and the bonus was that lots of small tasks had also been done around the house.

I would love to hear of your results with this. Please try it out – I know you will love it.