If you’re anything like me, you have the attention span of an amoeba.
The tiniest shimmer of something shiny and I have written off the next hour to gaze into space or find a million other tiny jobs of little importance to do instead of work, or simply take a nap.
I’m forever looking for ways to improve my motivation to work and after a bit of googling and a lot of testing, I came across The Pomodoro Technique.
And it looks a little something like this:
- Pick a Task, or a couple, whatever you’ve got on that list of yours.
- Set a timer for 25 minutes.
- Work until that alarm goes off, and not a minute longer!
- Take a five-minute break, make a coffee, do some push ups, have a biscuit, whatever you’re into.
- Repeat 4 times then treat yourself to a longer break, say 15 minutes then half an hour.
Once you have set your Pomodoro timer make sure you don’t get distracted by things like checking your socials, emails or WhatsApp. Come back to that later, either on your break or add it to your list to be completed in one of your 25-minute slots.
If you complete your task within the 25-minute timer then Francesco Cirillo, the inventor of this time-management method, tells us to keep an ‘overlearning’ list so you utilise all of the time within your Pomodoro session rather than cutting it short. Or have a list of quick jobs you can bolt onto the end!
There are things you can do to refine The Pomodoro Technique so you can really maximise your sessions and achieve the most you possibly can in the same amount of time every day:
- Break down unmanageable tasks – If something is going to take you more than 4-6 Pomodoros then break that task into more manageable chunks. That way you’ll make more progress and check more stuff off that list.
- Make notes on your Pomodoro sessions – What distracted you? How much did you manage to get done? Look at both individual and daily sessions to really maximise your time management.
- Learn how long tasks really take – When you start a task it is really easy to underestimate the amount of time things are going to take. By making notes on your Pomodoros you can start to budget your time for tasks better in the future.
- Motivate yourself by making it a game – Try and earn an extra Pomodoro each day, allow yourself to reassess you’re your goals after each session or challenge yourself to complete a task in a certain number of Pomodoros. Make it fun!
- Plan out your Pomodoros – at the beginning of each day assign a number of Pomodoro to each task, that way you’ve planned your whole day. You can even have a list of extras for if you finish everything up early, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t make it to them.
If you’re interested in learning more about The Pomodoro Technique then you should check out the book by clicking here.
And as for what Pomodoro means… well it’s Italian for tomato!
Although what that has to do with the method, I’ve no idea, you’ll have to read the book!
If you’ve got other methods that work for you, please let us know in the comments! I’m always looking for ways to keep procrastination at bay.