Are you losing control of your day due to procrastination? Are small interruptions like phone calls, Skype, e-mails and the fridge getting in the way of completing those tasks that absolutely must get finished? And let’s not even start on the granddaddy of all interruptions – Facebook! Time has become my worst enemy. Each day is passing with no sense of accomplishment or having achieved something worthwhile. My motivation is seriously lacking and it is starting to impact on my work, my relationships and, as I am self-employed, my bank account.
That’s where I was last week, but thanks to a quick read of Francesco Cirillo’s “The Pomodoro Technique” I’m ready to start this new week motivated and focused on getting stuff done!
“What the heck is The Pomodoro Technique?” you ask. It is a way of managing your tasks and your time so that the things on the task list actually get done AND within reasonable time frames!
This infographic (above) illustrates how to put Cirillo’s technique into action. Simply put, spend 25 minutes (a pomodoro) focused on a single task. After 25 minutes is up take a five minute break to recharge and refocus on your next pomodoro (25 minutes). Do not under any circumstance (well maybe except if the building was burning) allow any interruption to shift your focus. So do not answer the phone, go to the toilet, sneak a peek at a new email – NOTHING – except what the task requires during those 25 minutes. If you finish the task early, don’t stop. Use the time to revise, recheck, reread, re-spell check … you know what I mean. Use a timer (a kitchen timer or smart phone) to make sure you count every second. After the 25 minute timer goes off take a 5 minute break (I grab a drink of water, tidy up around me, stretch the legs, do some squates 😉 and quickly hang the clothes on the line.
Simply put, spend 25 minutes (a pomodoro) focused on a single task. After 25 minutes is up take a five minute break to recharge and refocus on your next pomodoro (25 minutes).
Francesco Cirillo The Pomodoro Technique
After completing four blocks of 25 pomodori and 5 minute breaks you can then reward yourself with a longer 30 minute break. NOW you can check out what your friends are up to, grab a bite to eat or watch a quick episode of Friends. Cirillo suggests setting a goal of 10 pomodori per day, that’s only 250 minutes, to make climbing the mountain of work much easier.
I started using the “The Pomodoro Technique” this morning, and am using it while writing this blog post. I already feel that I have achieved more today, than I had done in all of last week. I am so excited about saving my sanity and starting to accomplish things again (in every day) that I had to share it with you all. I am so glad to have stumbled across the “The Pomodoro Technique”. If you struggle with procrastination then I highly recommend reading the full book as it details more fully the “how” and “why” of the technique and its success.
I started using the “The Pomodoro Technique” this morning, and am using it while writing this blog post. I already feel that I have achieved more today, than I had done in all of last week.
If you work with others, then you might need to train them on the The Pomodoro Technique as well, at least so they won’t interrupt you during your Pomodori. I created this graphic for a bit of fun, to help you out. Print it out and place it in an obvious spot (like the back of your chair) to greet your next interruptor.
There goes my timer! Time for a little break, and then I will complete the last Pomodori needed for this task – posting it to my website and sharing it across the internet.