Here For A Good Time, Not A Long Time (Pomodoro Technique)
Wednesday is very easily becoming my favourite day of the week, dear readers! I get to share with you resources to better yourselves, ways work on your skill set, inspiring figures to keep you motivated, and all the while provide you with a framework to build your art around so that you are creating work that you care about.
No easy task, for sure. But damn if it isn’t a fun challenge for me!
Today’s post is no different as I have another great element of the skills to invest in series that I want to spend some more time on.
Get it, because we are going to focus a bit more on Time Management. That’s right, time management, the area of life that we all feel a lack of control over. I may have been inspired by Daylight Savings Time or it may have been conveniently timed, but time is precious, and there are a number of people that would tell you “time is money,” which is the equivalent of saying, use up your time and get value out of life.
I would argue the opposite way on this topic. Time is precious, money comes and goes, so don’t trade your time for money. Instead learn to work with time and be conscious of it, so that you can respect it properly. Time wont wait for you – much like common sense, everyone has a different perception of the concept, and reality is far different than what we usually think.
So what does that mean for us, timotheories? How do we become better at respecting time and understanding the value of it?
Well, I am glad you asked friends, because this week’s post is all about one of my favourite time management tools. It’s incredibly easy to pick up, improves your results quickly, and is a decent amount of fun. Which is hard to believe, I know.
I read about it on Reddit of all places a few years ago. Shocker, I know. It’s called the Pomodoro technique, and according to their official website more than 2 million people have already read and benefited from its teachings.
It really is an interesting process and I would be doing the process a disservice by detailing it myself, so I’ve decided to use Wikipedia’s break down for you, exactly as how it works.
There are six stages in the technique:
- Decide on the task to be done.
2. Set the pomodoro timer to n minutes (traditionally n=25)
3. Work on the task until the timer rings. If a distraction pops into your head, write it down, but immediately get back on task.
4. After the timer rings, put a checkmark on a piece of paper.
5. If you have fewer than four checkmarks, take a short break (3-5 minutes), then go to step 1.
6. Else (i.e. after four pomodoros) take a longer break (15-30 minutes), reset your checkmark count to zero, then go to step 1.
But that’s not the only important part of the technique – the elements of planning and tracking are key to making it work too.
You have to put your tasks for the day into a “to-do” list and estimate time needed for each task. As you complete your pomodoros, you add checkmarks, icons, or whatever visual symbol you like to each task. This is to identify how long the task truly takes as well as provide yourself with positive feelings about your commitment to working in this way. If you complete a task inside of a pomodoro, you spend the remaining time overlearning the task, to help aid in automation of the task and further reinforcement of the technique.
The breaks also help to maintain focus during the periods of work and keep your mind and body active throughout the work period, avoiding burnout and managing distractions better.
I think the coolest aspect of the Pomodoro technique though is that you are learning to work with time, rather than finding it as an adversary. And if you are stuck for ideas of how to spend your short breaks, you can do some simple desk exercises, organizational chores, short self-administered hand or neck massages, or getting a light snack in.
But what do you think?
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