Why Time Management
Most people are pretty busy nowadays. Does not matter if you are a busy professional or be a student working part-time or having an odd job. All of us play many roles every day. As a full-time IT consultant, I was busy working in my IT consulting job and on my side hustle in my spare time while looking after my two children. When I left my full-time job to start my coaching and consulting business, along with my e-commerce business, I got extremely busy. So, in every part of life and every situation, we are busy. At least we think we are. The question to ask ourselves is, are we only busy, or are we busy being productive? In this world of social media, the temptation to look at a Facebook notification may take 15 mins of your time without you even realizing it.
Unfortunately, being busy has now become a status symbol. People take pride in telling themselves and others that they are busy. But, I guess becoming busy and not having time to do what you would cherish the most in your life is a situation to work on and not an accomplishment to boast about.
People want to find the time to do what they like the most, such as spending time with their loved ones, or acquiring the knowledge skillset for their career growth or pursuing their passion, be it sports, music, travel, etc. led to different time management techniques developed by some great minds. One of them is the Pomodoro technique developed by Francesco Cirillo.
What is Pomodoro technique?
While at University, Francesco would set himself some target to accomplish within a certain duration of time. But he would never be able to complete the task during the time. He then started to monitor his activities and would note down all his temptations and distractions during the time set for his tasks. He noticed that while he was in the process of finishing his assignment, a friend would come and that would take him down the rabbit hole, and he wouldn’t be able to complete his task in time. Then he realized that it wasn’t always the external factors such as his friends, or mom, or his professor to blame. As a matter of fact, he noticed that most of the time, it was his own temptation to peep through the window or taking a break or attending to some other tasks that got him off track.
He then devised a method of cutting down the entire job in hand to small tasks and allocating a time duration of 25 minutes or less to each such task before taking a break. This method substantially increased his productivity. This has become a very popular method practiced and preached by many in corporate and personal life.
Pomodoro, Italian for tomato, is a well-known time management technique to avoid distractions and have an intense focus on a specific task for a short duration of time. The steps of the Pomodoro technique are as below:
1: Take up an assignment and break it down into smaller tasks
Example: If you got a PowerPoint presentation to complete in 3 days, your tasks could be requirement gathering, brainstorming, preparation of the draft, and review.
2- Assign your tasks to 25 minutes slots
Example: You assign 25 minutes for requirement gathering in the above example.
3- Set a count down timer to 25 minutes or less
4- Stay focussed on your Pomodoro until the timer rings
5- Take a break for 5 minutes (Reward yourself)
Note: 25 minutes of work with 5 minutes break is called one Pomodoro.
6- Start the timer again with your next Pomodoro
7- Reward yourself every 2 hours (4 Pomodoros) with a bigger break of 15 minutes
The above are the steps of the Pomodoro technique. You may come across distractions in between where you may be tempted to attend to something else. But you have to acknowledge the temptation and feel it but not surrender yourself to it. There may be occasions when something urgent may come up. In that case, you have to stop the timer and attend to the other task before coming back to your Pomodoro.
Time is the most precious commodity in your life. Once gone, it never comes back, unlike money which can be re-earned if lost. Hence every minute of your life should be cautiously spent. And the Pomodoro technique helps you to accomplish that.