Manage Your Time Wisely Using the Pomodoro Technique

By October 28, 2016Productivity
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If staying productive at specific time of the day remains a great hurdle, then using certain techniques that would guarantee efficient use of your time is crucial.

According to Dr. Donald E. Wetmore, creator of the Productivity Institute, an average person ‘uses 13 different methods to control and manage their time.’

From this finding, we could deduce that lots of people are recognizing the importance of being more productive. More importantly, we see how staying in this state has already become a serious issue especially for working adults.

Over the years, productivity experts have devised plans and strategies to help individuals manage their time well. The desire to come up with an effective solution also served as the foundation for the creation of productivity mobile Android app a lot of use come to love.

We’ve seen several notable techniques on how to encourage ourselves to sit down and get things started. Today, we’ll look closer at one of them – the Pomodoro technique.

Origin of the Pomodoro technique

This is a time management strategy that is promulgated by Francesco Cirillo around the early 1980s. It works on the idea of dividing one’s time into intervals of twenty-five minutes each before taking a five-minute break.

Cirillo believes that by doing so, anyone could increase their mental ability, thus, enhancing the overall quality of their work.

Pomodoro in application

The preparation isn’t that difficult. All you need to have is an efficient timer. Even the built-in timer on your phone could work. However, if you’d like something more intuitive, trying out several timer apps from Google Play Store or Apple Store is an effective choice.

How to get started

Here are six primary methods to get you started with this strategy.

  1. Make a list of the tasks you ought to finish for the day.
  2. Set your chosen Pomodoro timer for a 25-minute countdown.
  3. Start working on the first task on your list as soon as the timer kicks in. Avoid distractions as much as possible. If ideas or something important came to mind, write it down and get back to it later.
  4. Stop working when the timer rings. Cross out the task you’ve finished.
  5. Take a five-minute break before repeating the process.
  6. Complete four Pomodoro cycles before taking a longer break for about 15-30 minutes. Then, go back to step one.

What makes the technique so efficient?

  • It rewires your brain into focusing on the task needed to be accomplished. This shift in focus allows you to combat that familiar feeling of being stuck, not knowing how to get things started.
  • It helps you develop discipline in warding off notorious distractions like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube and get yourself to sit down and put your full focus on the task.
  • It trains your subconscious to be more aware and responsive to the timer by allowing to recognize a sudden shift in focus – from focusing on a task to taking a break.
  • It helps you create a more realistic structure of your to-do list by allowing you to take on the ones that are urgent and important over those things you are comfortable with doing first.

Skills necessary to experience the optimal effect of the technique

Just like any other strategies, the usage of Pomodoro also requires an individual to exercise certain skills on a regular basis. Below are the necessary ones.

Personal discipline – This skill is necessary for consistency. To feel the optimum effect of Pomodoro, you’ll have to commit yourself to the following discipline all throughout your working hours. You could say that this somehow limits flexibility as you won’t be encouraged to pick what task comes first.

By exercising discipline, you’ll be able to finish tasks at the scheduled time.

Focus – With discipline comes the need to focus. Once you’ve already trained yourself to commit, focus is vital in keeping your momentum up. Taking on the tasks you have on your list needs focus and presence of mind. Otherwise, you’ll eventually fall to being sidetracked.

Patience – While Pomodoro is created for anyone, not everyone can easily adapt to the technique. There are those who may need more time to work on perfecting the habit before he or she could feel the change.  Just because you don’t see any significant change at the beginning doesn’t mean the technique doesn’t work. Being patient helps you overcome the initial challenge of developing the habit.

Dealing with Distractions

No matter how you want all the distractions to vanish, there are just things beyond your control. External factors such as meetings, casual conversation with colleagues and emergencies are part of this. When these distractions get in between your Pomodoro cycle, you have to major options:

  1. To stop the Pomodoro cycle and start all over when you’re finished dealing with the distraction.
  2. To continue the cycle and handle the distraction later.

If you go for the latter, Francesco Cirillo suggests that you follow the following protocols, so you won’t have difficulty in dealing with the distraction you forgo.

  1. Inform – Be polite and inform the distracting party that you’re currently working on something urgent and important that needs your immediate attention.
  2. Negotiate – Suggest a time when you can get back to them once you’re finished with your current task. Be sure to listen to their side too.
  3. Schedule – Agree on a follow-up immediately. It’s appropriate to address the other party’s concern as soon as possible.
  4. Call back – As soon as you’re finished with your Pomodoro cycle, call back the other party and inform them that you’re ready to tackle their concern.

Bottom-line

Time management is a real hassle if you don’t invest in making some effort to change your habits. Setting priorities is the primary step to organizing your schedule, but most of the time we need more than this.

The Pomodoro technique has been proven to be effective by a lot of working adults and students who struggle on handling their time well.

Make the commitment today and be more productive!

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