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Time Blocking Tip: The Pomodoro Technique

The constant chatter of social media, text messages and emails can make the task of completing a seemingly easy and quick assignment seem unnecessarily long. I’ve been the victim of this condition far too many times. Simply tossing your phone in another room may be effective, but there has to be something more effective that really makes you commit to completing your task, distraction-free, right?

The Pomodoro Technique is one such time management remedy that involves a very simple but effective outline:

  1. Get a to-do list and a timer.

  2. Set your timer for 25 minutes, and focus on a single task until the timer rings.

  3. When your session ends, mark off one pomodoro and record what you completed.

  4. Then enjoy a five-minute break.

  5. After four pomodoros, take a longer, more restorative 15-30 minute break.

In this outline, the name “pomodoro” derives from the kitchen timer that is shaped like a tomato, as mentioned and initially used by Francesco Cirillo, the creator of this method. Each timed session is a “pomodoro”. Speaking from personal experience, this is the perfect method for those who are distracted easily. Knowing that only 25 minutes of your time is being allocated to a specific task before it’s time for a break builds a sense of structure to your productivity.

I ’m a big advocate for scheduling and planning out your days on a small scale, and weeks and months on a larger scale. Allocating time restrictions to your productivity may seem counter intuitive, however having that set time in place allows you to focus all in at one task at a time. Of course, this method is as effective as you make it, so it’s important to not let a single event distract you for the 25 minute time period, otherwise you may feel compelled to pick up your phone, check your emails, etc continuously, as you’ve already lost that initial feeling of willpower you thought you had possessed.

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