If you've been keeping up with my blog, you know I'm big on productivity. A while back I read about the Pomodoro Technique. The Pomodoro Technique was invented in the early 90s by developer, entrepreneur, and author Francesco Cirillo. Cirillo named the system "Pomodoro" after the tomato-shaped timer he used to track his work when he was in college. The methodology is simple: When faced with any large task or series of tasks, break the work down into short, timed intervals (called "Pomodoros") that are spaced out by short breaks. This trains your brain to focus for short periods of time.
Is this for everyone? Of course not, we all have to find that happy balance but I've been using this method and I have to say it's been pretty darn good. Now obviously I can't use it for every part of my day/business for instance when I have calls during the day. So I chunk my workload accordingly. For instance, as I'm writing this post I'm timing myself. I'm not racing the clock, if I'm not done I'll move on to my next task and if I have time I'll button this one up later OR continue on tomorrow.
So what's the purpose of this?
- Work with time, not against it. When you're focused 25 minutes is actually quite a bit of time. Don't race the clock, what's the worst that can happen? It's
- Eliminate burnout and boredom. Have you ever encountered when you're focusing on a task for long periods time that you just tend to get stuck and eventually give up. I don't mean giving up for good, but you put it aside and just save it for later. What I do now is for any particular project whether I'm building a site, content writing etc. I break up what I need to do into sections.
- Manage distractions. During the 25 minutes there's no answering the phone, talking to people, checking email, facebook etc. It's straight up getting the task done.
- Create a better work/life balance. Who wants to spend 90% of their day working? When you're accomplishing tasks and crossing them off your list, you feel accomplished and you're getting things done!
Here's the Formula
- Choose a task to be accomplished.
- Set the timer to 25 minutes
- Work on the task until time is up, then put a check on your sheet of paper
- Take a short break (5 minutes is OK)
- Every 4 Pomodoros take a longer break