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In today’s modern world, we never ever seem to have enough time to get everything done. Often, the sheer number of tasks we need to complete overwhelm us. Instead of focusing on one specific task at a time, we jump between them and end up not getting anything done efficiently.
This is where the Pomodoro technique can help.
What is it?
The Pomodoro technique is a unique time management system developed by Francesco Cirillo towards the end of the 1980’s. It aims to help those who use it to remain 100% focussed on the task at hand while maintaining their creative flair and freshness. This not only means less mental tiredness, but that projects are finished faster and more efficiently.
How does it work?
You will need the following.
- A timer of some kind. Cirillio used a kitchen timer shaped as a tomato, hence the name of the technique. Pomodoro is Italian for tomato.
The Pomodoro technique is very simple
- Select a task that needs to be completed.
- Using your timer, set a 25 minute countdown.
- Work on the task until the end of the 25 minute session and stop as the timer sounds. This 25 minute session is called a “pomodori”.
- Mark on a piece of paper that one “pomodori” is complete. Also record the amount of times you wanted to jump to another task or waste time.
- For the next 3 to 5 minutes take your mind off the task. You can do anything during this short break.
- Begin the next “pomodori.”
- After you have finished four “pomodori” in a row you are allowed a lengthened break of between 15 to 30 minutes.
- Continue until your task is complete.
- Any interruptions during a “pomodori” must be recorded. If it requires you to move to another task other than the one currently in focus, then the “pomodori” must be restarted.
Why is it effective?
By taking short regular breaks, this technique helps to keep minds not only focussed on the task but refreshed as well. As you continue to use the technique and master it, you will find you have the ability to focus on what exactly needs to be accomplished with each task.
It is particularly effective if you have multiple tasks to complete and helps to keep you accountable. Completing each individual “pomodori” is an accomplishment and a reward in itself.
The technique is a very systematic way to approach a large batch of projects.
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