It has been almost six weeks since I first started using The Pomodoro Technique to manage my time. When I started out it was an entirely new concept for me, but made sense because it focuses on cutting out distractions of all kinds. Until I started Pomodoro, I had no idea how much distractions were cutting into my time. I was also unaware that I could survive the day without checking Facebook and Pinterest 27 times…
Using this technique has shown me how to focus on one task at a time and to be much more serious about my approach to school work. I can get so much more done in a shorter amount of time because I am more focused. I also love the 5 minute break. It is something to look forward to each Pomodoro – I just reset my timer for 5 minutes and get on Pinterest and listen to some music or take a look at Facebook. Having that short mental break helps me be able to get right back to work at the next Pomordoro. It’s also a great way to plan for a wedding. In fact that might be my next book….’Plan Your Wedding on Pinterest in Five Minute Increments’ – what do you think?
When using this technique you start out with the Activity Sheet. You use this sheet to write down the things that need to get done. I use it to list out what I need to get done that week in school in very general terms. You use that sheet as a guide to write down specific Things to Do for the day. I get more specific with this list. You can download these sheets for free! As you can see, my activities for this week include:
American Literature (Ambrose Bierce, fascinatingly bitter man whose main characters don’t fare so well)
U.S. History (how is it possible for these textbooks to make the most fascinating people and events into the most dull material ever written?)
Chemistry (double sigh)
Bible (I’m writing out the book of James)
Zentangle (creative outlet that I try to work on every day)
Obviously, my main focus with Pomodoro is school work. It is where I lack the most discipline, but I am finding that Pomodoro helps in other areas. It really helps me to get things done with this blog and remember to take a few minutes every day to do Zentangle. This is something that I really enjoy and want to improve in but still find that the days pass by and I never actually get around to doing anything creative or artistic. That isn’t the kind of life that I want to lead – so I put it on my Activity Inventory and my To Do List. At the end of the day you can refer back to your sheets to see how much you have accomplished. And you can also look back at them to see if you need to transfer anything to your next day’s To Do List.
Mom and I are even finding we can do almost everything we need to do to clean up and maintain the house by doing just one Pomodoro each evening. When you focus on a task it really is amazing what you can get done, especially when you are working with another person.
If you haven’t yet, I hope that you will give it a try and let me know how it goes!
Check out Part 1 of the series!