Have you heard of The Pomodoro technique? This super simple and effective time management method, could not be easier to use and will change the way you work. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, separated by short breaks. The method is based on the idea that frequent breaks can improve mental agility. When used properly, it has also been proven to eliminate burnout, increase productivity and create a better work/life balance.
Ready? Below are the basics, as outlined on the website.
Step One: Choose a task you’d like to accomplish. (Organize a closet, complete a work project, etc.)
Step Two: Set a timer (Or use one of the many Pomodoro apps) for 25 minutes. Make an oath to yourself to focus on your task for the set time.
Step Three: Work on your task until the timer rings.
Step Four: When you have completed the 25-minute Pomodoro, take a timed 5-minute break. Breathe, meditate, grab a cup of coffee, go for a short walk or do something else relaxing (i.e., not work-related).
Step Five: Repeat as needed. After a series of four Pomodoros, take a 20-30 minute break. Your brain will thank you later.
I tried it today for a lengthy online design project I was working on. I normally dread spending lots of time at the computer, but found that the time zipped by and I stayed completely focused during the work stretches. It really helps knowing that I had a break to look forward to every 25-minutes. I used my breaks to grab snacks, refill my water, walk around the house, and stretch. I highly reccommend using the free cell phone app which guides you through each Pomodoro and monitors your breaks. I can’t wait to use this with clients to help tackle mounds of paper organizing and other daunting projects!
How do you manage your time when you need to tackle a large project?
photo credit: not a paper house