Time management is a challenge for most people. As a Virtual Assistant helping other business owners with their to do list, I have found the Pomodoro technique a great way to help you power through your to do list. The Pomodoro technique is a simple productivity method that you can easily implement to stop procrastination and maintain focus and productivity throughout the day, The goal of the technique is to help you get into the zone and focus. All you need is a timer, and I’ve found the timer on my phone is perfect for this purpose.
You can get started with the Pomodoro technique in 5 easy steps:
- Choose a task to complete.
- Set your timer for 25 minutes.
- Work on the task until your timer goes off.
- Take a short break for 5 minutes – make sure you get up and walk around, grab a glass of water.
- Start your next task!
Each of these 25 minute bursts of productivity is called a “pomodoro”, named after the tomato timer used by developer, entrepreneur and author Francesco Cirillo in the early 1990’s. After you have completed this Pomodoro technique four times you can take a longer break of 20 minutes. You can repeat the process a few times over the course of a work day.
The idea behind the technique is that the timer creates a sense of urgency. Rather than feeling like you have endless time in the workday to get things done and then ultimately wasting those precious work hours on distractions (like social media), you know you only have 25 minutes to make as much progress on a task as possible.
If you get distracted during one of the pomodoro’s, write it down on a piece of paper and go back to it later.
The advantage of this technique comes from the regular breaks, helping your mind stay fresh. The focused time allocations also make you stick to fixed limits, encouraging you to complete a task more quickly.
I love the fact that it is such a simple process to make you more efficient and feel refreshed by the short breaks. I use the Pomodoro technique when completing tasks for clients and I also recommend this technique for my clients. If you’re looking for a systematic way to tackle your to do list, then why not give it a try. After all, it’s free, so you really have nothing to lose.
The Pomodoro technique also works really well for students to maintain focus while studying.
Have you given this a try? What did you think?