With ever-expansive opportunities and plans in our real lives and digital selves. How can we optimize our productivity? Making a to-do list helps us align our thoughts and create a targeted strategy to execute daily plans. Being in continuous work mode leads to exhaustion. Therefore how do we find a middle ground?
The Pomodoro Technique
Three decades ago Italian Francesco Cirillo invented the Pomodoro Technique, designed as a time management system to drive productivity and optimize your day. Through moments of intense concentration followed by short periods of breaks. In creating a sense of urgency we are driven to complete tasks within the allotted time. Removing the belief of thinking we have endless opportunities to complete a job.
The Pomodoro Step Up
Between each time block, there is a five-minute break. And after completing four Pomodoros you take a longer break—usually 15 to 30 minutes.
5 Steps to Pomodoro
Pick the task that you wish to complete.
Something big, something small, something you’ve been putting off for a million years: it doesn’t matter. What matters is that it’s something that deserves your full, undivided attention. To get started, write your tasks down and start with the first task.
When picking your task, keep in mind you will be coming back to the same task after each break. Therefore, don't spend too much time deciding where to start. Just start!
Set your timer for 25 minutes.
The method is about optimizing intense focus to complete the task effectively. Make a small oath to yourself: I will spend 25 minutes on this task and I will not interrupt myself. You can do it! After all, it’s just 25 minutes. Therefore, do not let outside forces intervene in your time. If your phone dings from social media leave it to check during your break.
Immerse yourself in the task for the next 25 minutes.
Once the timer has ended take 2 - 3 minute breaks.
Your break time is the opportunity to let outside forces in. Grab more water or coffee if needed. Take a social media break and answer those messages.
Repeat! After 4 sessions take longer breaks in between.
No matter the project you're working on if you didn't get it finished within the previously allotted timeframe. Then add on to it during the next go around until completed. Remember after 4 rounds extend your breaks, and maybe take a lunch or 30-minute afternoon snack. Refer to our Wellness Wednesday guide on how to fit YOU into your schedule.
Record each session in your notes.
Keep track of your sessions whether in the notes on your phone or piece of paper next to you. Checking off each section once completed. Do not be afraid to go a step further and write a brief 3 sentence reflection once done. Be candid with yourself, did this technique optimize your to-do list? Would you continue utilizing this method to achieve any of your goals?