The Pomodoro Technique

Monday, May 02, 2016

Talking about a time management technique called Pomodoro and how to use it with your Bullet Journal.

We all face a similar challenge - there's just a lot to be done every day. As I've mentioned before, time management is something that I'm very interested in and I'm always trying to find different ways to help me with that. The other day I came across a time management technique called Pomodoro. It promises to 'Do more and have fun with time management.' So, I really had to check it out!

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

It was developed  in the 90s by an Italian graduate student called Francesco Cirillo to help him with his studies. He used a simple kitchen timer that was shaped like a tomato, and that's how it got it's name - in Italian a tomato is called pomodoro.

'It's a simple yet very effective way to improve your work and study habits. The basic requirement of this technique is to set a kitchen timer to 25 mins.'

It is based on setting a timer for 25 mins to coordinate your task/project you have to do. During those 25 minutes, your brain is at it's most productive phase. This technique is really helpful with bigger projects or tasks and your study routine.

How it works?

  • Choose a task that you'd like to get done.
  • Set your timer for 25 minutes.
  • During those 25 minutes you have to make sure you eliminate any distractions (i.e. calls, messages, social media etc.).
  • When the alarm rings then you stop. You've just completed one Pomodoro.
  • If you managed to finish your task in the first 25 minutes well done!
  • If not, then give yourself a break for 5 minutes, before you start your next Pomodoro. You deserve a reward!

Why it works?

  • It's easy for anyone to use.
  • You work with the time you have, instead of struggling against it. You won't believe how much progress you can make in 25 minutes. Your goal is not to necessarily finish the task in the first 25 minutes, but to make sure you utilize your time efficiently. 
  • It's the opposite of multitasking. You just focus completely on making progress on just one task.
  • It is essential to take short scheduled breaks between Pomodoros. If you do something for too long without a break, then your brain gets tired.
  • It helps you create a better work/ life balance, by creating an effective timetable and allowing you to truly enjoy your time off.
  • It's fun to do!

How to use it with your Bullet Journal?

After using this technique for a few times, I was surprised with the results. It really does work! But then, I wanted to find out a way to use this technique along with my bullet journal. After searching around, I found out about the Productivity Planner. It is a planner based on the Pomodoro Technique.

Talking about a time management technique called Pomodoro and how to use it with your Bullet Journal.

I liked how the planner is incorporating this technique in a notebook. However, I have a lot of tasks to do during a day, and this planner's layout is clearly not going to work for me. So, I decided to adapt it and use it with my bullet journal.

As I said before, the Pomodoro Technique works mainly with big tasks and projects. So, I don't usually use it with everyday small tasks. Lately though, I find myself setting the timer for 25 minutes even for housework tasks, for example when I clean the kitchen. It helps me to focus and finish everything faster.

Talking about a time management technique called Pomodoro and how to use it with your Bullet Journal.

In order to use this technique with my bullet journal, all I do is write the steps of each task. So, for example, when I write a blog post, I have to write it, take pictures if needed, schedule it with hootsuite etc. I focus on each task separately, setting my alarm for 25 minutes each time. Once I finish it, I note down with red circles how many pomodoros it took me to finish it. Each circle is one pomodoro, ie. 25 minutes. This way, I know on average how long it takes me to finish similar tasks, so that I know how to manage my time in the future.

So, I challenge you today to pick one task you've been avoiding and to focus on it for 25 minutes, after you set up your timer. I guarantee the results will surprise you!

For more information on the Pomodoro Technique, check the website or get the book here. For more information on the Productivity Planner click here, or if you're interested in purchasing it you can get it here.

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