If, like me, you find yourself overwhelmed by distractions or seemingly important tasks competing for your attention, I suggest taking a serious look at the Pomodoro Technique. It is brilliant in its simplicity. It is easy to use. And, best of all, IT IS EFFECTIVE.
What is the Pomodoro Technique, you ask?
It is simply a method of time management. The principles are simple: choose a single task, block out all other distractions, and focus on that one task for exactly 25 minutes.
That is it! Simple. YES! Maybe too simple to be worth a hoot? NO!
This is where the brilliance comes in. The human brain is, on average, capable of providing its absolute attention to one object/task for approximately 25 minutes. After that, your focus diminishes quickly and so does the effectiveness of that focus. If you are studying, you stop retaining as much. If you are completing a chore, you begin to slow down or get distracted. The Pomodoro Technique urges us to embrace this limitation. Spend 25-minutes of absolute focus on one task, take a 5 minute break, then return to the task or another task of your choosing.
If we force ourselves to adhere to this guide, you will find that it forces you to prioritize your to-do list. It also forces you to take steps to ensure that those 25 minutes are not interrupted. Turn off your cell phone, kill your Twitter feed, turn off the Facebook chat function, etc.
It sounds simple. But, it brings many of our complications into focus and gives us a method of taming those things we allow to complicate our time. You owe it to yourself to give it a shot. Once you try actually holding yourself to the strick, yet simple, guidelines, you will find yourself amazed at its effectiveness. It just takes a little bit of discipline....now, where can I find an easy technique to give me some of that discipline stuff?
I urge you to check out the link at the bottom of this post to the official site of the creator of the technique, Francesco Cirillo. On his site, he offers free resources and even a free e-book to get you started. There, you can see the possibilities that this simple technique can bring to the table.
The Pomodoro Technique®