Do you know how much you can get done in just 25 minutes? You might not think much, but you really can make great progress on a task when you’re focused on it for a set period of time.
One of the ways I knock out some of my more tedious or large tasks is by using the Pomodoro Technique.
The Pomodoro Technique was created by a man named Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980’s. The technique uses 25 minute blocks that are timed to help create a sense of urgency. During the time blocks you are completely focused on the task at hand.
So here’s how it works.
Step # 1 – Decide what task you want to get done
It can be something big that you’ve broken down into smaller tasks. Or a task that you typically put off because it is tedious or you just don’t like doing it. What the task is doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that you are putting forth undistracted time to complete it.
Step #2 – Remove distractions
Close out your email and turn off the notifications on your cell phone. If it won’t cause you to have an anxiety attack to be separated from your cell phone (we’re so attached to them) leave it in another room while you work so you aren’t tempted to peek. If you’re working is a place where others may interrupt you, such as a busy office where a closed door invites people to knock or at home where that teen who barely speaks to you all of the sudden decides they want to chat right when you get going, notify them that you’ll be unavailable for the next 25 minutes but you’ll check in when done.
Step #3 – Set a timer for 25 minutes
A kitchen timer works best because you have the added effect of hearing the ticking sound. However, you can certainly use the timer on your cell phone or some other device.
Step #4 – Focus on the task
Once you set the timer, completely immerse yourself in the designated task until the timer sounds. Put a notepad by you so that if you think of something else you need to do you can write it down for later.
Step #5 Take a break
When the timer goes off, take a 10 minute break. You may want to set your timer for 10 minutes to make sure you don’t take too long of a break. Do something relaxing – not related to work – like taking a short stroll, have a cup of tea or coffee, pray or do some stretches. This will help reset your mind.
This technique works because you are able to focus on one task rather than multitasking, which research shows actually wastes time rather than saving time. It also prevents work fatigue by incorporating short breaks. (you can read more about multitasking here) And lastly, you use time to your advantage instead of working to meet a deadline.
Give it a go! Incorporate the Pomodoro Technique into your schedule for at least one time block, then let us know how it went. We’d love to hear how much you were able to accomplish.
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