Find out how to manage your time in the best way with this simple method
How many times have you got to the office in the morning feeling already swamped with a lot of tasks to carry out? And how many evenings have you thought you got nothing done during the day? Too many.
We are all absorbed in a very demanding whirlwind of tasks, appointments, meetings and phone calls, and very often we feel overwhelmed even before we start. Actually, this sense of stress and oppression has its origin in our idea of time: day after day we amass activities and deadlines, but we should think instead about the moment we are living.
In this way, things change: we have to think that what we are doing right now is important and deserves full concentration, but only for the time needed to complete it, without stall.
What is the “Pomodoro Technique”?
The famous “Pomodoro Technique” was born from this concept, invented by Francesco Cirillo during the university years. Legend tells this name derives from a simple kitchen timer – shaped like a tomato – he used to keep track of the time spent studying. He realized he was not productive (in the study, in his case) and that he had troubles focusing on what he was doing. Exactly the problem we are talking about.
Here are five steps to understand how the technique works:
- Plan the activity to be performed
- Set up a timer for 25 minutes
- Work on that activity, without distractions, until the timer rings
- At the end of the session, have a 5 minute break
- Every fourth «tomatoes», that means every fourth sessions, have a longer break (about 20/30 minutes).
A really simple and effective method: adopting this partition of 30 minutes (25 + 5) you will see that each activity will seem not only less oppressive, but also easily executable.
How to optimize the “Pomodoro Technique”
To get the most out of it, you have to be really law-abiding and always remember this is a means, not a goal. So, here are some considerations and warnings:
- Respect timelines: You should not say “I go on some minutes more and then I will take a longer break”, as the sense of the “Pomodoro Technique” is to give yourself a well-defined schedule, alternating focus moments with break ones.
- Respect your commitment, but do not turn into a slave. You must not work just to complete as many “tomatoes” as possible, as you will have again an extreme and uncontrolled amount of work. This technique should help you to control your time, not to waste it!
- Learn how to manage with interruptions. As said, the 25 minutes are “sacrosanct” and to respect time you will have to learn how manage with interruptions, which are inevitable. With this method you should do big steps in the organization of your time, especially in the management of the apprehension for overwork.