Time, if only I had time, does this sound like the kind of thing you say. Why is it that some people just manage to be super productive, why can they get so much done, while you continue to struggle to make any progress on your ever growing lists of to-dos!
What the most productive people do is work with time, not against time. Now, this sounds easier said than done, but like anything, if you became disciplined and committed you will see significant breakthroughs.
A great technique to becoming super productive is known as the Pomodoro Technique; this isn’t like any other time-management methods you traditionally find, this uses the time for you, not against you.
So many people see time as the ultimate bad guy and race against the clock to complete tasks and deadlines, yet The Pomodoro Technique helps you to use the time to your advantage and not always challenging it.
Life is becoming more hectic, and distractions are everywhere, it’s no wonder so many struggle to complete tasks, research suggests it can take up to 30 minutes to get back into a task once distracted, this just cripples your productivity.
To get the most from time, and use it as your ally requires an effective timetable, and taking necessary time out once a particular allocated time has passed.
Here’s how it works:
Select the task you need to complete; this could be a big task, small task or jus something that you keep procrastinating against getting started. The most important aspect is to give the task your complete attention no matter how tedious it seems.
Pledge an allocated task time for 25 minutes; this means that for a full 25 minutes you will allow no distractions whatsoever, turn off your phone, your notifications and become completely inaccessible for this 25-minute window.
You can use a stopwatch, or your smartphone for this, alternatively a super cool app I use is called ‘Flow Timer’ which is free but also offers a Pro version for £2.99 (it’s worth the £2.99 btw). Get the FREE App Here >>
Continue working on the tasks until the timer ends, or alarm sounds. If you become aware of something else, you need to do simply write it down and come back to it later. Some may give themselves a tick or mark at this point for completing a full 25 minutes of distraction-free activity.
Take a short break, no more than 5 minutes. If you’re using the ‘Flow Time’ App, this is predetermined, so just set it going. At this point do something non-task related, i.e., do some star jumps, go for a quick walk, meditate, grab a brew, but be sure it’s non-task related.
Take longer breaks once you have completed four successful 25-minute rounds, remember after each 25-minutes round grab a 5-minute break, then after the 4th round, take a 20 – 30-minute break.
This technique may take a little bit of getting used to, but the productivity levels just soar when working to this degree of discipline. Use this method for all tasks.
Use this technique for all tasks, calls, emails, follow up, creative work, admin work, it literally works for everything. Have fun, enjoy it and as always let me know how you get on with it. Leave me a message in the comments, I’m interested to hear your feedback.