This is my first true post of 2014, and I thought I would share something that I’ve been using fairly consistently the last 3 weeks. It’s called the Pomodoro Technique.
Here are the basics:
You set a timer for 25 minutes (I use the one on my phone), and then you FOCUS on one key task for that entire timeframe. No interruptions. No distractions. Just pure productivity.
The results in my case have been nothing short of extraordinary, especially for tasks or projects that feel overwhelming or are difficult to start.
For me, it’s done wonders from things as complex as writing to things as simple as cleaning.
The key is FOCUS.
It should come as no surprise that our world is full of distractions. So, when we can find a way to carve out a little distraction free time we can do amazing things. The cool part is that it’s JUST 25 minutes.
Almost everyone can step away from their phone, email, TV, Facebook, etc. for just short of half an hour!
I’ve set up a small list of key activities that are time suckers. The reason? If I keep up with these throughout the week I greatly reduce the time I dedicate to them on the weekends. Laundry? On the list. General cleaning? On the list. Reviewing my personal budget? On the list, along with a handful of others. I work the list 2-3 tasks a day at a time. It’s easy to do, and I’m slowly getting my weekends back.
At work it’s a little bit of a different story.
I spend some quality time at the start of the week PLANNING my activities (prepping for meetings, listing out tasks for projects, etc.). Then I work the list, starting with a 25 minute segments on the most crucial tasks. After that, everything just sort of falls in to place. If I’ve planned well, I’m prepared for most everything the week throws at me, and more able to adapt to the things that I didn’t plan for.
This of course, does not mean that I’m married to a timer. In most cases, I just use the timer once for a task. Once I’ve got some momentum with the task it’s easy to continue working or to plan on coming back to it at a later date.
The key for me, is to just…get…STARTED…