You don’t have to be well-versed in the theory of relativity to know that time is relative - you just have to work a full time job. Sometimes the work day can feel like it ends before it even gets started, and other eight hour shifts feel closer to 16.
Time rarely has our best interests in mind, and is happy to give our productivity a run for its money if left unsupervised. Being ambushed by deadlines and due dates is something every professional deals with; the result of time’s consistent habit of getting away from us.
Good time management skills are a necessity when it comes to managing a 40+ hour week, and many of us rely on the basics: organizing our workspace, setting daily goals, and reflecting on which efforts are effective. The problem is that adopting these habits can be a challenge, and our motivation to change doesn’t always outweigh our desire to do what’s familiar.
The good news? Bad habits may be hard to break, but they’re not unbreakable. Sometimes, a simple solution is your best bet. Enter the Pomodoro Technique.
The Pomodoro technique (whose attractive name comes from the Italian word for tomato) is an easily approachable time management method designed to break work down into short, manageable tasks. The process only takes five steps:
- Assign a task you want to work on
- Set a timer for 25 minutes - this is known as the Pomodoro
- Work solely on the task until the time is up, then record your first Pomodoro completion
- Take a break, no more than 5 minutes
- After 4 Pomodoro completions take a longer break, 15-30 minutes
These steps do wonders combatting the distractions that interrupt your workflow. A Pomodoro is only completed when the 25-minute timer is fully committed to the given task, which leaves conversations with coworkers or time spent on your Twitter feed out in the rain. You’ll quickly come to appreciate a concise workflow that’s uninterrupted by other commitments.
Simplicity is what sets the Pomodoro technique apart from other time management solutions. All you need is a timer, and just about every smartphone you can get your hands on today will have one. An official timer and book are available for the full Pomodoro treatment, but are totally optional and shouldn’t impact your experience.
Efficiency and structure are the reasons we devise and live by our personal workflows. The applications we use, the techniques we work with, and the schedules we follow are all in the pursuit of a more effective, fulfilling day. Too many people swear by the Pomodoro technique to be ignored, and it could just be the missing link between a good day and a great one that you’ve been searching for.
We’d love to hear about your Pomodoro experience, and which time management techniques you work with to stay above your workload. Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+, and leave a comment!
Image by skeeze from Pixabay