As an office organizing coach I spend most of my time working hands-on with my clients organizing and de-cluttering their office spaces and with that years’ worth of papers. And it never fails, with each new client and new office organizing project I stumble upon projects – started, yet never finished, ideas, marketing strategies, goals sheets upon goal sheets, articles of time management or productivity and tons and tons of to do-do lists. Each and every one meant to finally represent a new start and to finally getting things done in my clients lives . . .
Sadly enough though, due to sheer overwhelm, jumping head first into projects and constantly putting out fires, I find that most times my clients have lost complete sense of how long anything actually takes them – making it therefore almost impossible to truly plan and schedule their projects. It’s easy to fall for the: “Oh it’s only going to take me two minutes trap,” and interruptions from email and text notifications are right around the corner making it hard to focus and all in all resulting in the big picture / your actual goal (Read More On Goal Setting / Big Picture Planning Here) getting lost in the shuffle. How frustrating!
I usually put my clients to a test whether they were answering emails, pay bills, write blog posts, file or set out to organize. What they all have in common is that they all had a specific time made up in their mind of how long each project would take them. But surprisingly enough my findings are:
Each and Everyone Grossly Under- or Grossly Over-Calculated On How Long Each Task Actually Takes Them.
Therefore resulting in never starting on bigger projects or ending up in the never-ending project loop that for sure will be nagging on them for months to come as they truly believe “I don’t have time right now,” wasting precious time working on the little things and at the end of the day feeling frustrated as nothing gets done which is a by-product when we allocate all our energy and resources toward the little things. Sounds familiar?
Let Me Assure You, You Are Not Alone And Yes There Is A Solution!
This is where “The Pomodoro Technique” comes in. It will let you take back your time, get things done and move you forward towards your goals (Read More On Goal Setting / Big Picture Planning Here) isn’t that what we are trying to do? Getting things done, reach our goals, get back to our family, find time for our friends, enjoying a hobby and so on?
So let’s jump right in. Below you will find everything there is to know about “The Pomodoro Technique,” how Pomodoro can give you back that sense of time and how you can get started implementing “The Pomodoro Technique.” TODAY! You too will get back to moving towards your goals and finally getting to all the things you never seem to get to.
WHAT IS POMODORO?
The idea behind “The Pomodoro Technique” is simple – you basically work on any given task for 25 uninterrupted minutes and then take a five minute break, training your brain to focus for short periods of time thus helping improve your attention span, concentration, helping you get things done and best of all help accurately planning tasks as you get a better understanding of how long a task truly takes you.
Simply said: The exact opposite of multi-tasking as your entire focus goes toward one task for 25 minutes to then be rewarded with a five minute break.
Francesco Cirillo the inventor / developer of “The Pomodoro Technique” named the system Pomodoro after the tomato – shaped timer he used to track his work as a university student (Pomodoro – Tomato in Italian.) His method is based on the idea that frequent breaks can improve your mental agility, your brain associates the breaks with something positive and therefore wants more.
“The Pomodoro Technique – Intro Video by Greg Head (One of the best videos I found explaining why and how Pomodoro could easily become your favorite time management tool.) Be sure to take five minutes and watch the video.
WHY SHOULD YOU CONSIDER POMODORO?
- Already after a short while “The Pomodoro Techniqe” will let you understand your time better and how long individual tasks actually take you, thus letting you accurately plan out your tasks.
- It’s so simple yet so life-changing and all you need is a timer. No books to read, complicated systems to learn, expensive equipment to buy.
- Working in individual blocks of time will keep you focused on the one task at hand . . . not necessarily finishing the actual task but helping you move forward and making progress instead of procrastinating.
WHAT TASKS WORK BEST?
“The Pomodoro Technique” pretty much can help with any tasks that you want and need done but have trouble getting to . . .
- Creative tasks such as writing.
- Important tasks that need your immediate attention – possible with a deadline attached.
- Tasks that require intense focus and no distractions.
- Any tasks you consistently find yourself procrastinating on.
- Reading, brainstorming, goal setting – all the things that usually get lost during a busy work day but are necessary to move your business forward.
YOUR TOOL CHOICE – as long as it has 25 minute and five minute intervals
As mentioned before you really don’t need anything special except a kitchen timer. Here are a few suggestion if you do find yourself wanting something a bit more special.
- Clear Focus / Free – Pomodoro Timer App on Google Play
- Search for Pomodoro Desk for MAC if you are using Apple Products
- Search for Pomodoro Desk for Windows 7
- Tomato Timer – Another Free Pomodoro App
HOW TO GET STARTED – Six Simple Steps!
- Turn off any distractions such as email notifications, text messaging etc.
- Choose a task to be worked on – write the task down (this can be one task to be accomplished within one pomodoro / 25 minutes such as cleaning out your email in-box simply begin a different task in the next pomodoro section or a task that will require a few sets of Pomodoro’s such as writing an article.)
- Set your Pomodoro / Timer to 25 minutes.
- Work on the task until the Pomodoro / Timer rings.
- Reward yourself – Take a short five minute break.
- Every four Pomodoro’s take a longer break 25 – 30 minutes.
The key is to simply getting started on one task without any distractions for the entire 25 minute span and to consistently take a five minute break, a crucial part of your productivity! Our eyes get strained and our concentration may suffer as our brains tire after working too long on any given tasks.
Get started today! I want to hereby challenge you to pick one important task, one that you may have been procrastinating on such as emptying your in-box, cleaning off your desk or a big writing assignment you have been meaning to get to. Turn off any distractions, email notifications etc., write down your specific task, turn your timer on and work for 25 minutes and then take your break. I guarantee you may not finish your task but you will feel great to finally have started and don’t be surprised when you find yourself wanting to continue : )
PS: I was using my Pomodoro – I use Clear Focus on my Galaxy Note Five (which I love by the way) and it took me exactly SEVEN Pomodoros spread over two days . . . I’m a slow writer and known to be a perfectionist, writing doesn’t come naturally to me and tends to be the first thing that I like to procrastinate on. Making use of my Pomodoro however does get me started and usually the task doesn’t seem so dreadful any longer once I do.
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
I sincerely hope you enjoyed this article and please share any thoughts, comments, ideas, testimonials with us down below. Whether you are a long time – pomodoro user or tried the technique for the first time, I would love to hear about any experience with “The Pomodoro Technique.” What tasks are you struggling with the most? Do you see yourself adding “The Pomodoro into your life?
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