The number of tasks has piled and you have no idea which one to start first?
Finally, you are ready to start with something, but, you feel that you are not in the mood and your mind starts to wander elsewhere.
Every one of us struggles with this every day despite the thousands of books on time management, but which method works well for you?
What if I tell you that there is an activity so simple that even kids can do it. All you need is 25 minutes to focus on any one task that you need to complete. The tasks can be of any type, big or small, for instance, bills that need your instant attention. Get the task done and still have time on Facebook feeds and IGTV. Sounds tempting yet?
Introducing to you the Pomodoro Technique!
The Pomodoro Technique, named after the tomato-shaped timer, was invented in the early 1990s by Francesco Cirillo. He used this method to cope with his study during his university days. The idea of the Pomodoro Techniques is to break down large tasks into short, timed intervals with breaks between each completion. This helps to train your brain to focus and meet your deadlines, in other words, it helps with your time management.
The best thing about the Pomodoro Technique is that you don’t need any expensive and complicated equipment. All that you need is a timer and your full attention. I am using this Pomodoro timer (click on the highlighted word!) and I am so in love with it. One of my best buys of online shopping and it is just so adorable. Makes me laugh whenever I look at it. For me, this tomato timer is a one for all usage. It not only helps to keep me on track with my Pomodoros, I use it when I’m baking, doing my HIIT workouts, and when I’m relaxing with my facial mask. It is one of my best buys, and I’m sure you will not regret it too.
The Pomodoro Technique Format
1. Make a list of tasks you would like to do
Choose any one task to start with. You can choose the simplest task if you are new to this or go with the one that is the top priority.
2. Set the Pomodoro (timer) for 25 minutes
Here’s the difficult part, especially for people whose minds are expert wanderers. The task on hand needs your full attention for this 25 minutes, no distractions whatsoever. Tell yourself that it is only 25 minutes, and you will be amazed at the amount of work you can complete within this time.3. Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings
3. Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings
At times while you are working on your current task, you remember there is another task you need to do. Write down to remind yourself to do it later or add it to your to-do list.
4. When the Pomodoro rings, check the task off on your list
Congrats! You have focused for 25 minutes and got a task completed!
5. Take a short break after each Pomodoro
Reward yourself a 5-minute break for immersing your brainpower on the task! Enough for you to grab a cup of coffee or snack, or walk around to stretch yourself out and take a breather.
6. After every 4 Pomodoros, take a long break
4 Pomodoros is equal to an hour of your full focus, and your mind needs a good break to recharge. Browse through your Facebook feeds and IGTV, do anything that is not work-related so you can think more clearly when your client asked for the progress of the landing page that is due 2 days later.
The whole idea of the Pomodoro Technique is that you are not supposed to do anything else during this 25 minutes. If you are being distracted by your kids or a co-worker, you will have to end the Pomodoro (save your work from where you stop and start again later). Thus it will be ideal if you can postpone the distraction until you have completed your current task.
Cirillo suggested to the “inform, negotiate, and call back” strategy.
Let the other party know that you are working on a task and do not wish to be disturbed. If you work from home with your kids around, let them know that you will need certain hours to be alone and have a work area or room especially for your work only.
Let the other party know the time when you can get back to them.
Make sure you follow up right after you complete your Pomodoro so you can focus on the new task at hand.
When you first start using the Pomodoro Technique
The feelings will vary with people. If you are one who spends hours working on your laptop with hardly a toilet break, you tend to get tempted to ignore the timer and continue working even after the timer rings.
If you have a multi-tasking mind, it is effortless to feel tempted to check through your email or reply to a text message halfway through your Pomodoro.
It does take some effort to force your mind to stick to the format.
However, once you get the hang of the Pomodoro Technique, you will be surprised to find that your productivity level will increase much. Instinctively, the mind will focus on the task once the timer starts, and instead of spending 4h, all you need is 25 minutes to complete the task. You will start to look forward to starting on the tasks because all you need is 25 minutes.
Giving your mind a break between your Pomodoros, you will find that you will not feel drained, instead, you have the energy to go on with the other Pomodoros and still feel fresh for the rest of the day.
Always work on your terms with your Pomodoros.
The Pomodoro Technique is one of the greatest techniques created, however, everyone has their difficulties to stick to the format. Be flexible when you are working on your Pomodoros, if an important client called or you have to attend a crucial meeting, it is not possible to postpone that. Postpone your Pomodoro, just be sure to come back to it after you have settled your important matter.
Know a friend or co-worker who is constantly fighting with deadlines and struggling to work around the clock? Share this blog with them and let the Pomodoro Technique help resolve their struggles today!
Now go get that timer ticking, set aside that 25 minutes and focus all your mind power to kick ass on your Pomodoro!