For many people, time is an enemy. We race against the clock to finish assignments and meet deadlines. The Pomodoro Technique teaches you to work with time, instead of struggling against it. A revolutionary time management system, it is at once deceptively simple to learn and life-changing to use.
Its simplicity is deceptive... It eased my anxiety over the passing of time and also made me more efficient; refreshed by breaks, for example, I halved the total time required to fact-check a column.
These are all ways real folks use the Pomodoro Technique:
The fundamentals of the Pomodoro Technique are simple yet incredibly effective.
Something big, something small, something you’ve been putting off for a million years: it doesn’t matter. What matters is that it’s something that deserves your full, undivided attention.
Make a small oath to yourself: I will spend 25 minutes on this task and I will not interrupt myself. You can do it! After all, it’s just 25 minutes.
Immerse yourself in the task for the next 25 minutes. If you suddenly realize you have something else you need to do, write the task down on a sheet of paper.
Congratulations! You’ve spent an entire, interruption-less Pomodoro on a task.
Breathe, meditate, grab a cup of coffee, go for a short walk or do something else relaxing (i.e., not work-related). Your brain will thank you later.
Once you’ve completed four pomodoros, you can take a longer break. 20 minutes is good. Or 30. Your brain will use this time to assimilate new information and rest before the next round of Pomodoros.
The Pomodoro Technique isn’t just about helping you get things done today; it’s about learning how you work so you can save time in the future.
Ever wonder where all your time goes? Wonder no more: it’s all on the page. Your Pomodoro To-Do sheet is a visual overview of the time you’ve spent on various tasks.
Usually, you can afford to take 25 minutes before calling back a friend or replying to an email. You’ll learn how to handle the inevitable interruption while staying focused on the task at hand.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of the technique, you’ll be able to accurately predict how many Pomodoros it will take to accomplish tomorrow’s -- or next month’s -- tasks.
While the contours of the Pomodoro are set, what you do within them can be adjusted to maximize efficiency. One way to make a Pomodoro more effective is to use the first few minutes to review what you’ve done before. Other methods are discussed in the book.
A timetable sets a limit, motivating you to complete a task within a set period of time. It also delineates your work time from your free time. Creating a clear timetable will allow you to enjoy your time off without worrying that you could be doing more work.
The Pomodoro Technique is a tool you can use to reach your own objectives. For example, a writer might realize he’s spending too much time revising, and adjust his Pomodoro timetable to allow for more brainstorming time.