Pomodoro, Portuguese Rolls, and Purpose for Productivity


Picture of Laura Paisley Beck

Laura Paisley Beck

Freelance Content Creator

Are you working from home and dealing with daily distractions? Me too. After my mom died, I spent two weeks in Portugal and six weeks in art therapy. Living alone in an apartment overseas helped me mourn and process trauma that coated my brain like putrid silt kicked up from the bottom of a stinky pond. Art therapy challenged me to reconnect with my creative self and reprioritize my personal and work goals (I’ll write about connecting to my creative self soon). But coming back home and getting in sync? Oof! Here’s a delicious trick I discovered to stay creative, focused and productive as a professional writer once I returned home.

The Mighty Multitask

First, I have a few questions for you:

  • We all know about The Pomodoro Technique, right? It’s a clever trick to break up a large undertaking into 25 minute stints. 
  • Do you find yourself sitting for hours and hours at your desk? And beating yourself up because sitting is the new smoking?
  • Were you ever told to stop multitasking and focus on only one project at a time?
  • Have you ever baked bread? 

I hereby give you permission to bake Portuguese rolls to stay productive on your computer. This is why it works for my writing career.

Golden brown Papas Secos, puffy almond-shaped Portuguese bread rolls, cool on a rack.

Papo Secos For Productivity

Check out the recipe for these delicious papo secos. Every step requires you to wait for 10-30 minutes in between a mix, fold, roll, or bake. I decided to write during those waiting periods. Within a five hour span of time, I will have several pieces written, warm rolls coming out of the oven, and my Apple Watch praising me for getting closer to my stand goal. There is also a brain refreshment in doing something completely different with my hands, like rolling wads of soft dough into tight little pillowy balls, before typing up a spreadsheet full of social media copy. Bonus: my baking iron only allows me to bake four rolls at a time, so I get an extra 45 minutes of writing in between three 15-minute baking sessions. What an all around sensory delight to incorporate the pomodoro method into a writing routine!

The Case Against Working and Baking

Some brains can’t handle this task-switching. If you’re brand new to baking, I can’t say this will be the best practice for you. Baking and writing both require attention to detail. I made a batch of these rolls last weekend for my partner’s annual spring onion roast, and they were so easy for me, and so delicious, I knew I could make this work for me. That said, maybe try making them on a day you have nothing else to do but laundry and kitchen cleanup. If you find them just as easy to make as I do, you too could be using baking as a focus-enabler too.

On Purpose

Finding purpose in life creates focus, healthy identity, and ultimate happiness. Personally, one of my favorite ways of expressing love is through food. Making something with care and joy to share with people who are important to me… there’s not much better than that. But since I became a writer I spend many hours whittling words and not much time making food from scratch. When I discovered this practice of baking bread to keep me focussed on my writing, I felt like I solved yet another beautiful puzzle piece in my life. 

Add that to nailing written content because I only have a small session of time before I have to fold dough or slide rolls out of the oven? Life is pretty delicious, my friends!

Next Batch

Art therapy helped me connect these dots. When I recognized how raw and vulnerable I was after my mom’s celebration of life, I knew I needed to color a little outside the box to heal. Since then I have made some truly remarkable realizations and decisions that have helped me tune into a better version of myself. In another batch of baking, I’ll share more of what I learned in case these ideas help you too.
If you figure out a delicious pomodoro technique like this, or if you succeed in making papas secos, I’d love to see it! Feel free to tag me on Instagram @waamwrites.llc.

For now, tem um ótimo dia!

About Laura Paisley Beck of Wa’am Writes, LLC

Laura Paisley Beck sharpened her copywriting skills as a serial entrepreneur and corporate trained salesperson for decades. She started Wa’am Writes, LLC to finally live out a happy, healthy, comfortable life as a writer. Her sales and business experience + writing skills = copywriting super powers to help uplift businesses and organizations she believes in. When she is not writing and networking, Laura enjoys long walks with Janis Pup, dancing, cooking, silent sports outdoors, seeking Wow (Woods or Water) and dreaming of digital nomad life in Portugal. Want a colorful, experienced, successful writer for your content? Schedule time with Laura Paisley Beck today!