One of the most important resources we have is our time. Utilizing it efficiently is an important skill that we should all work on improving.
However, just “being efficient” with your time is a large area of study and work. Today, we’re just going to look at the concept of focusing on one task a time.
Personally, I like to use the “pomodoro” technique once or twice a day. In case you aren’t familiar with the term, pomodoro refers to setting aside a set amount of time (25 minutes in my case) to focus on one task during which you screen out all other distractions or tangential work.
I like to use this method for the following reasons:
- It helps to to focus on the task at hand by limiting myself to one objective
- Deals with distractions (by not engaging!) since I know I will be able free to deal with any within 25 minutes
- Let’s me get some work done standing up (what?!?)
Ok, #3 might not be something for you, but I like to stand up and work with my laptop during the 25 minutes so that I spend part of the day standing instead of constantly sitting in a chair – just an extra little boost that I like and enjoy while focusing. It helps to be slightly out of my usual work zone so that it feels different enough that my mind seems to be more engaged and less easily distracted.
For some more information on the technique, watch this short video:
As I noted above, I use this method of time focusing about once or twice per day. I personally find it very powerful but would not want to have a full day set up in this way.
However, I am aware of some people that are able to make this work and understand that they do 3-4 25 minute pomodoros before taking a 15-30 minute break – and by their own reports it has helped them really ramp up their productivity. If you think it might work for you it’s definitely worth giving a shot. I would recommend trying it over a half day at first. Perhaps do 2-3 25 minute sessions in the morning, break for lunch, then do an afternoon of “normal” work.
And of course, if you’re really into that timer, you can get one from the Pomodoro Technique folks:
Great gift idea: the official wind-up Pomodoro Technique timer! Available on http://t.co/FeLh3rV32J.
— Pomodoro Technique (@PomodoroTech) December 3, 2014
How do you deal with time focusing and time management? One question that I’m always very interested in is what amount of time do you find the most effective? For myself, it is the 25 minute mark…but everyone has different schedules and work flows – what works for you? Why?