If you are having difficulty getting things done, if procrastination has become a problem, you may want to try a technique developed by Francisco Cirillo, called the Pomodoro Technique.
The technique uses frequent breaks to help keep the mind focused. Using this method, you work about 25 minutes, and then take a break of three to five minutes. After four work periods, you would take a longer break of about 15 to 30 minutes.
The advantage of this technique is that by working in more brief spurts, you can focus completely on the task at hand. Plus, with the breaks, you have many opportunities to recharge.
Knowing that you will only be working for 25 minutes on a single task also helps motivate you more than if you were sitting down to many hours of work on different things.
It also makes you more aware of the time. As part of the technique, you are recording your periods of work and what tasks you are doing during those time periods. So, you have a much better idea of how long it takes you to get something done. Being aware of the time element also helps you to focus.
Another advantage of this technique is that is enables you to better assess how you are doing your work. By recording the number of 25-minute periods you do, and what you do during those periods, you get a better idea of your work habits and patterns, so you can make adjustments in the future.
When using the Pomodoro Technique, it is important to remember that, like anything else, you will get better with practice. It will take a little time before you see any improvements. It may take a few weeks before you really get acclimated enough to the system to really make it work for you.
It is also important that you stick to the system – 25-minute work period with a 3-5 minute break. Don’t stop before you should or work longer than you should. That defeats the purpose.
Don’t forget to set priorities. The system will be of limited value if you just use it for trivial work while neglecting more important tasks.
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