Every day we have thousands of tasks that we are supposed to complete by a given deadline. How do some people become “deadline oriented” or so prompt on their day to day schedule? For some, they find a time management technique called “Pomodoro” to help them chuck out their time. When it comes to getting things done, this is one of the best methods to use, and here is why.
What You Need
- A Timer (preferably not your phone where you can be distracted)
- A Task That Needs To be Done
- 25 Minutes
They say that the basics are the most essential, and in the Pomodoro technique, that cannot be overstated. All you have to do is set a time for 25 minutes, work for that time, and when the timer goes off, take a five-minute break. Repeat as many times as you need in order to get your tasks done.
Working for a few hours? Lucky you, the technique wants you to take a well-deserved 25-minute break after you have completed four cycles.
Making It Complicated
For those of us who need more reason to stay motivated, part of the technique says that if you become distracted, you are not supposed to count that cycle! Yes, you got work done, but it makes it that much harder to getting your long break.
In order to avoid missing out on your breaks, close unneeded tabs, turn devices on airplane mode, or plug in some headphones. Staying on task can be difficult when you are interested in the topic, yet with this technique you can powerhouse through them with ease.
Making It Work For You
As a skeptic that I typically am, I wanted to see if it truly worked. Thus, I tried it on myself and my overwhelming schedule for this week. I had 34 articles that I needed to write, each one takes me about a half hour to complete. This time is taking into account being distracted by my phone, being on the internet, and so on. To prepare for this powerhouse session, I had my Word open, the articles I needed to cite, and then I turned my laptop on Airplane mode. This meant that I could browse the pages I had open, but nothing else. On my cell phone, I turned on a timer, and that too went on Airplane mode.
To say the least, I have been working too hard for too long on these projects. In the 25 minutes where I went into straight work mode, mostly because I wanted to beat the clock, I completed two articles, including editing! This technique cut my writing time in half. Needless to say, I think I was doing more wandering than I ever accounted for.
Why It Works
The reason the Pomodoro technique works is more because of a reward system than anything else. Not only are you going to be rewarded by having a task finished, possibly paid, but you also get a break for working as hard as you did. The other aspect is the competitive drive most of us have. Since you have to do four cycles, you want to outdo yourself a little bit more each time.
The Pomodoro technique is great for getting your head into the game and knocking out tasks fast. While it does not make you work any faster, or more effectively, it helps you manage your time. If you find you cannot concentrate on one topic, after your 25 minutes of forced attention, try something else for the next cycle.