Time is something we all have. In fact 1,440 minutes a day. The question is, how are we using those precious minutes God has given us?
For most people, they find time slipping away like a thief in the night. It’s like traveling on a slippery road, you’re just going to slide right by and wonder where your day went.
I know, bad analogy. But bear with me.
For years I struggled with being productive and getting more done in less time. I would sit at my computer, do things, but never accomplish anything. I’d go home and begin again the next day.
It wasn’t until the past couple of years where I began doing freelance work for other churches and doing more on this blog. I did this all while being a husband, father, and pastor. I needed to set goals and accomplish them.
Maybe you’re in the same boat. Maybe you’ve been trying to figure out how you can be more productive and less distracted in life. This is where I learned about the Pomodoro Technique.
In the late 1980’s, Francesco Cirillo created the Pomodoro Technique while studying as a university student. He used a red, tomato-shaped Kitchen Egg Timer. The tomato (Pomodoro in Italian) timer was used as a productivity hack to help Francesco remain focused on his studies.
This technique has become so popular that it has become one of the most talked about and widely used productivity hacks of the modern era.
So, what is the Pomodoro Technique?
It allows you to use time as an ally.
I mentioned above that time is something everyone has equal amounts of. But it’s how we use that time that determines our success in life.
The Pomodoro Technique teaches us to use time to our advantage. Basically, we set a specific amount of time to work on a project and leverage a timer to help us beat the clock. It’s simple to use and it will give you more time to accomplish more.
It allows you to avoid burnout.
Are you afraid you’re possibly burning out? There are two types of people, those who work hard and those who look like they work hard. It’s the later who doesn’t utilize time to their advantage and end up burned out by busyness.
This time technique allows us to schedule breaks into our day to keep us from running on fumes. If you push yourself too hard, you’ll burn out. By setting a specific amount of time you’ll be less likely to overwork yourself. Why? Because this system utilizes work time and break time effectively.
It helps you eliminate distractions.
Face it. We are so distracted in our daily lives. How many times do you have to check to see who commented on your latest Facebook post? Trust me, I do it too.
The Pomodoro gives you freedom to eliminate these distractions while you’re working against the clock. When you’re on the clock and a distraction arises or you remember you have to call the dentist, you log your distractions and keep moving forward on your project.
What’s really neat about this, you get to see how often you get distracted and this gives you the strength to not give into them.
So, how does it work and how can it help you gain at least 2 hours in your work day?
- Choose a task you want to accomplish. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small. Find something on your day’s to-do list to get done. Make sure it requires your full, undivided attention.
- Set a timer for 25 minutes. This is the secret sauce. You make a commitment that for the next 25 minutes you’re not going to check email, Facebook, answer phone calls or take impromptu meetings. It’s really simple, set the timer, go to work on the project. After all, it’s 25 minutes.
- Don’t stop until the timer rings. The main goal is to remain focused. Don’t get distracted, but work with fervor and focus on the task at hand. You’ll be amazed how much you’ll get done. If you get distracted, write down your distraction and keep moving forward.
- Check off your item. When the bell rings, cross off the item you’ve accomplished. You didn’t get distracted and you remained focused.
- Take a break. It doesn’t have to be long, but get up and stretch or get a coffee refill. Do something to get your mind clear.
- Do 4 Pomodoro’s in a row, then take a longer break. The goal is to accomplish 4 of these back to back. Each ending with a short break. My suggestion is two short brain breaks an hour, followed by a 15-20 minute break every two hours. Then, try and do 4 sessions of 4 Pomodoros each.
It doesn’t matter if you’re working on a book, blog post or something at work, utilizing the Pomodoro will help you accomplish more in less time. It eliminates distractions and gives you a better work/life balance.
No more will you be distracted on meaningless tasks, but you’ll become a focused machine doing more work than your colleagues sitting next to you. Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to teach them how to get more done and still have time to breathe during the work day.
Question: How can this help you at work? Do you use something similar? Leave a comment by clicking here!