Personal Time Management and the Pomodoro Technique

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Time Management > Best Practices > Personal Time Management and the Pomodoro Technique

Personal Time Management and the Pomodoro Technique
Give yourself a surprise and time yourself to see what you can do in 5 minutes. This will give you an idea how much time you should allow for things.
It is amazing what you can do in 5 minutes, when you know you are working to a dead line.
Then, for interest, see what you can do in 1 min, then 30 secs.
You will be surprised... I was!

Personal Time Management can be Used in Every Area of your Life
MOHAMMED, Financial Consultant, Lebanon, Member
Setting goals puts you ahead of the pack...
Some people blame everything that goes wrong in their life on something or someone else.
In time management the goals you set should be SMART, they should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timed.
Also we should be positive (goals should be phrased positively, so they help you feel good about yourself and what you're trying to accomplish) and personal (goals must be personal. They must reflect your own dreams and values).

Kitchen Timer / Pomodoro Technique
Aymeric Gaurat-Apelli, CEO, Australia, Member
Above reminded me of the "Pomodoro Technique". The name comes from the kitchen timer that looks like a tomato (pomodoro in Italian). It goes like this:

1. Choose a task you want to make progress on.
2. Avoid/reduce any potential interruptions: turn off your phone, emails, etc and put on a headphone to reduce the odds of being interrupted.
3. Set the pomodoro timer to go off in 25 minutes
4. Work solely on the specific task you have chosen. Allow no interruption. Don’t think of something else. Just work. The ticking sound of the timer should remind you to stay focused.
5. After the 25 minutes of full focus, take a break (5 min). Go outside, take a walk, stretch, etc… This resting phase is important to replenish your energy level for the next focus phase.
6. Restart from step 1.

What do you think about this tomato technique guys?
I think its helpful for fixed work, but not for dynamic work. Any ideas?
Source: Blog by America Gaurat-Apelli.

The Pomodoro Technique
Son Hoang, Student (University), Viet Nam, Member
@Aymeric Gaurat-Apelli: The Pomodoro process is about getting maximum productivity from your available time by breaking down your work into separate jobs and then using a timer to separate your time into periods of intensive work and short breaks.
As you described, first you should think about the task you need to complete. When you are ready to start you set a timer to 25 minutes and you start working on the first item on the list. When the timer rings you must take a short break of between 3 to 5 minutes. You should try to move about or do some exercise during the break.
Then set the timer for another 25 minutes and continue working. At the end of the next ‘pomodoro’ you have another short break. As you complete the items on the ‘to-do’ list you should tick them off, to give you a feeling of satisfaction that you’re getting the job done.
When you’ve had four or five short breaks you can take a longer break, then you start again.

Pomodoro works for me. It stops me from wasting time. My work is much more effective when I use the timer. It’s like short, intense periods of work. I actually get my work done a lot quicker now which leaves me more free time to do other things. So for me it works really well.

Benefits of the Pomodoro Technique
Roland van der Leede, Manager, Netherlands, Member
Following are the main advantages / pros of the Pomodoro Technique:
  • Simple. Technique is relatively easy to learn and apply.
  • You break tasks down into smaller and shorter, highly focused work intervals. This helps you to manage your time more effectively, and makes large tasks seem easier to finish.
  • Taking frequent short breaks gives your mind a chance to assimilate and process information.
  • You are encouraged to minimize distractions.
  • You are discouraged to perform multitasking, which is known to be not very efficient.
  • Taking regular short breaks is known to be good for your health and improves your concentration. Francesco Cirillo, author of the book "The Pomodoro Technique", argues that the method is especially suitable for people with ADHD.
  • Because you take some rest and recharge yourself throughout the day, you feel less tired in the afternoon.

Drawbacks of the Pomodoro Technique
Roland van der Leede, Manager, Netherlands, Member

I found following to be cons / disadvantages of the Pomodoro Technique:
  • You might find it hard to stick to the strict schedule of Pomodori
  • You might face frequent interruptions from colleagues or clients.
  • You might have difficulty to take a short break when you are booking rapid progress and you feel inspired.
  • You need at least 25 minutes or so to do a Pomodoro sesion.
  • Not suited for groups.
  • Not suited for tasks that can not be broken down in small "chunks".

Pomodoro Principle is good for Multi-tasked personnel
TAIBO MARGRET, Uganda, Member
This is good information that I have to make a try for. Some of the steps may not apply to some situations, but I will do my best and will give you feedback.
First I will have to develop a to-do list. These short -break are good energizers. Thanks.

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