Do you ever wake up feeling ambitious and ready to start your day only to look up at the clock and realize you’ve been staring at your phone for hours and the day is almost over? I have many times. Starting is always the hardest part and for many of us once we start we keep going. Facing that blank page, the blank canvas, that pile of dishes in your sink, it just seems like such a huge task to tackle that you just don’t even know where to begin.
It’s been well documented that humans are not very good at multitasking, we can accomplish tasks at the same time sure, but we aren’t able to preform them nearly as well as when we are focused solely on one individual task at a time. With this in mind you need to first choose the task you most want to start first. Only one.
Now that you’ve chosen your task, let me introduce you to the pomodoro method. Created in the 1980’s by Francesco Cirillo, this method employs breaking up tasks into 25 minute chunks with the use of a timer. After your timer goes off you take a 5-10 minute break. Everyone is different so feel free to experiment with different increments to see what works best for you. All you need is a timer, which we all have on our phones. using a timer makes this technique more effective because you do not need to stop and check on how long it’s been, you can simply set the timer and fully devote yourself to the task at hand for the full 25 minutes.
After four 25 minute chunks, give yourself a slightly longer break like 20-30 minutes. Now is a great time to grab a snack or make yourself some lunch. Once your 20-30 minutes is up, it’s back to work. What makes the pomodoro method so effective is that it breaks up all your tasks into bite sized pieces which makes larger projects seem less daunting. It also helps you see where all of your time is going and redirect it to the appropriate tasks without feeling like you’re working against yourself. If you’ve ever tried to race the microwave to put something away before the timer goes off, then you’ve already used this technique before.
Whats great about the pomodoro technique is that it can be applied to almost any task. It is a useful tool for studying, especially when you find it’s difficult to get yourself to get started. You can also use this technique for projects like cleaning or reading or even starting a business. A large reason why people end up not completing the tasks they know they need to do is because they either never get started, or do not put in the amount of time necessary to finish it. The pomodoro method is sure to show you what you can truly accomplish with your day when you are able to stay on task.
What has your experience with the pomodoro effect been? have you used it before? Share your opinions in the comments so others can see your helpful tips and tricks!