The number of tasks has piled and you have no idea which one to start first?
Finally, you are ready to start adding time management to your list, but procrastination sets in.
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.
Sounds tempting yet?
One of the Most Effective Time Management Techniques
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 and it is so cute that it makes me look forward to starting my tasks every morning.
One of the benefits of having a Pomodoro timer is its multiusage purposes. I use it when I’m baking, doing my HIIT workouts, and when I’m relaxing with my facial mask.
How to Start With the Pomodoro Technique?
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 natural wanderers.
The task on hand needs your full attention for this 25 minutes, with 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 timer rings
3. Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings
At times while working on your current task, you suddenly remember there is another task that needs your attention.
Stop yourself from moving to the next task!
Put a note on your Post It to do it later.
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 in 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
Four Pomodoros is equal to an hour of your full focus, and your mind needs a good break to recharge.
Stretch your legs, take a walk to the pantry or browse through your Facebook feeds and IGTV. Distract your mind from any work-related matters so you can have a clear mind to start another set of tasks.
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 time management techniques ever created.
Naturally, everyone has difficulties sticking to the format initially. 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!