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Want to master your time? Try this!

In today’s hyper busy world, time management can be a challenge.  We’re not only busier, we’re also constantly distracted.

Attractive young women using a computer and phone

So how can you work through your to do list in the most efficient manner?  One option to try is the Pomodoro Technique, a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980’s.

The technique uses a timer to break work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. Each interval is known as a pomodoro, from the Italian word for tomato, after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer Cirillo used as a university student.

This is a great option for people with lots to get through and procrastinators alike. 

If you use this technique and make it a habit, it will transform your personal productivity.  It will help you prioritise important tasks and high pay off activities, improve your focus and help you build your concentration muscle. 

It will also help you get more done (that ticking timer has an uncanny way of making you feel rushed) and reduce stress by keeping you focused on one task at a time (and reducing your to do list faster).

So, the Pomodoro Technique is a time management tool where you break down all of your tasks into 25-minute focused blocks of time.

Between each time block, there is a five-minute break.  After completing four Pomodoro’s you take a longer break—usually 15 to 30 minutes.

In theory, this strategy works because you completely focus on one task (like writing) without shifting focus or multitasking.   When the timer is on, there is no email checking, no social media, no quick chat – no other activity.  This will get you and keep you completely focused on the task at hand.

So here is a quick overview of the 5-step process for implementing the Pomodoro technique:

  1. Choose your task and total time to work on it.
  2. Set a timer to 25 minutes (either with an egg timer or with an app).
  3. Work on the task for 25 minutes.  Avoid all distractions and urges to multi-task (it will be hard to start with but it will get easier with practice).
  4. Take a 5-minute break to re-group, start another Pomodoro. You HAVE to do this part, even if you’re on roll.  The breaks are an important part of the technique so you can re-energise.  Take a little walk, get a snack (healthy please), go to the bathroom, have a stretch – just do something. 
  5. Take a 20-30 minute break after completing four Pomodoro’s.

You can also batch tasks into one Pomodoro if you know they will take you less than 25 minutes. 

It sounds simple, but it is very effective. 

If you need a little extra help setting your goals or priorities for the week, check out our range of adult and kids planners.

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