Looking around your house, a sudden rush of panic runs through you. On the table are bills left unpaid. The sink filled with filthy dishes from the previous night. A heap of laundry in the basket and not to mention, you have some grocery shopping to do as your refrigerator is almost empty. So many things to do in just one day. Suddenly, you wish that you had more hours and hands that day.
You are always racing against time to finish the day’s tasks. Yet, ending the day exhausted, and only half of the things on your list completed. Sound familiar? As much as you hate to admit it, time is not against you. Your failure to finish everything is because of your own doing. You try to juggle everything all at once in the hope that they will be completed all at the same time. Stop going against time and work with it. This is where time management comes in.
One of the simplest and most popular time-management methods is called the Pomodoro Method. It allows you to focus on one thing at a time in short bursts while taking breaks in between your work.
What is the Pomodoro Method?
In the early 1990s, entrepreneur and author Francesco Cirillo invented The Pomodoro Technique. He used this technique to track his work as a university student. Cirillo named the system Pomodoro after the tomato-shaped timer used. He divided huge tasks into short, timed intervals (called Pomodoros) with short breaks in between. Instead of multi-tasking, this teaches you to be hyper-focused for short periods. In the long run, it can improve your concentration skills. Here’s how to get started with Pomodoro:
- Choose a task to be accomplished
- Set the Pomodoro to 25 minutes (the Pomodoro is the timer)
- Work on the task until the Pomodoro goes off
- Place a check on a sheet of paper showing you completed that task
- Take a short break (5 minutes)
Every 4 Pomodoros take a more extended break. That longer break can usually run from 15 to 25 minutes depending on how much time you need to recharge before starting another 25-minute work session. Constant repetition in the day will help you accomplish more tasks than any other typical day.
Let’s face it, whether, at work or your personal life, there are too many distractions that keep you from completing your task. Without any system in place, you’ll end the day distracted and unproductive. Depending on the gravity of the situation, Pomodoro allows you to “put a hold” on your distractions and tend to them after the 25-minute burst. Otherwise, tend to them immediately and restart the Pomodoro timer again.
How to Get Started with the Pomodoro Method
For Pomodoro, all you need is a timer. You can download an app or simply use the countdown timer on your phone. Otherwise, you can use the old school kitchen timer in your house. As long as you can set the clock to ring at the 26th minute, then you are ready to go. Use this consistently and see your day transform into a productive one.