Whether you work for yourself or are employed, maximising your productivity during your working hours is essential. When you understand the connection between time management and success, you manage your resources more effectively and place a value on your time professionally.
If you’re not “that person” already, I’m going to take it as a given that you want to be.
I’ve heard various suggestions for managing your time effectively and I’ve dabbled with a few, but in all honesty nothing seemed to stick. Then during Project Getaway, I was introduced to a new technique that helps me:
- Structure my workload for the day
- Complete tasks to a higher standard
- Spend less time each day “pretending to work”
- Feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day
For me that’s kind of a big deal and I figured I really should share it.
The power of intense focus
Multi-tasking is how many of us work; we use this ability to try and accomplishment as much as possible in the shortest amount of time. As the saying goes, “if you want to get something done, ask a busy person”. But there is something to be said for one-track mindedness. For applying the full power of your complete focus, on only one task, for a prescribed period of time.
The benefits of ‘time-managed’ solo-tasking
- The task at hand gets your complete attention
- You are able to batch tasks and effectively save more time
- Positive pressure helps you get more done
- You improve your creative problem solving skills
What is The Pomodoro Technique?
The Pomodoro Technique was created by Francisco Cirillio in 1980s and the idea was that you would work for short intense spurts with little breaks in between. By maintaining your focus and applying your concentration, he showed that you were able to maximise your work processes and get more done in less time. The method, is that you work for 25 minutes of complete concentratio, and at the end of the 25 minute pomodoro you break for 5 minutes, before going into another pomodoro.
If you completed 10 pomodoro’s per day, you’ll have worked 5 hours with full concentration!
It could look a little something like this
p1:Insert task – 5 minute break
p2: Insert task – 5 minute break
p3: Insert task - 5 minute break
p4 :Insert task – 5 minute break
1/2 hour break
p5: Insert task – 5 minute break
p6:Insert task – 5 minute break
p7: Insert task – 5 minute break
p8: Insert task – 5 minute break
1/2 hour break
p9 insert task 5 minute break
p10 insert task – 5 minute break
Most of us only have 5 good hours a day anyway; 5 hours where we are at our most creative and productive best. But with the distraction of multi-tasking, email, Skype, Blackberries and other digital noise, very few of us get to experience the accumulative power of our best 5 hours.
Imagine you; working intently for 5 hours per day, purposefully eliminating distractions and assessing your productivity at the end of each cycle.
What would you achieve with the accumulative power of your best hours? What could you achieve; when you stopped pretending to work and actually…err…worked!
The Pomodoro Technique helps you tap into your optimum hours and with some discipline, your business idea starts to becomes a business, the junk room becomes an office and that books starts to write itself. For an idea so simple, it’s genius how effective it is really.
The tool I use to help me get the most out of my daily Pomdoro’; is from Beat Points . The software adds a ticking tomato shaped timer to your tool bar, which once started, will ring an alarm at the end of your pomodoro. And to make this little tomato shape tool even more tasty, its totally FREE!
You can also use the mini dashboard that pops up at the end of each session to help you rate your productivity, and set a reminder for when to start your next 25 minute session.
The Pomodoro technique has become a well-used tool helping me to plough through my never ending list of things do to. But it also leaves me with a great sense of achievement at the end of the day as I know what ever tasks I’ve been working on; have had my full concentration. It also leave me to free to enjoy some guilt free down time each day.
By helping me set goals, stay focused and assess how I use my time, I’ve seen great improvements in my productivity in the last few weeks. Whilst I’ll be experimenting with other techniques, Pomodoro’ are here to stay. It’s simple and it works.
Download the software here, try it out and comeback and tell us how you find it. You can also find out how other entrepreneurs are using this technique to super charge their productivity. I’m not the only one getting excited about tomato shaped productivity tool.
More from the developer of Cherry Tomato