Recently, I found a new task management technique named Pomodoro. I will give a brief introduction of the technique here.
1. Work 25 minutes without interruption
Basically, this is all you need to know to use Pomodoro technique. Set a timer to 25 minutes and work on any task until the time is up. The 25 minutes work unit is also called pomodoro.
If you are interrupted by yourself such as sudden urge to do other things, just write down the thing on a paper and keep working on your original task. If other people interrupt you, ask them to call or visit you later and go back to your work. In any case, you should not stop the timer and go back to your work within 15 to 45 seconds.
What if you cannot ask other people to come back later, for example if the person interrupting is your superior? In that case, you just reset the timer. Work done until the interruption does not count as a completed unit or pomodoro. When you go back to your work, you just start a new pomodoro. pomodoro technique
2. Repeat pomodoros until the whole task is completed.
Suppose you write an article, just like I am doing it now, with a timer ticking in my computer. You write for 25 minutes and only the half of the article is done. Now, you don’t work on other task but keep repeating 25 minutes work until the whole article is completed.
In the past, I tried doing different tasks for each 5 or 10 minutes to increase productivity and fight boredom. However, the pomodoro technique of repeating 25 minutes until one task is done seems to work much better than the old system. Maybe it is a human inclination of trying to get unfinished job done the does the trick here.
3. Five minutes’ break after one pomodoro and longer break after 4 pomodoros
For every 25 minutes of work, you should have 5 minutes’ break. I usually leave my desk and have a cigarette and come back for the next pomodoro.
When you had 4 pomodoros in a row meaning you worked for 100 minutes, you should have longer break like 15 or 30 minutes. It is totally up to you how to use the break. During the long break, you should forget about what you did during pomodoros and do OTHER things.
4. Make a todo list for pomodoro system
At the beginning of a day or on the previous day, you should make a list of todos that you will work on based on pomodoro technique. Just list all the tasks you have on your mind. Mark tasks that you want to for one day and make notes beside each task.
The notes you need to write at the end of a task is an estimate of pomodoros necessary to get it done. For example, I write at the end of a task called “write an article for EzineArticles” a number 2. The number means I will need 50 minutes to complete the article. When you are done with the task, write down a sign X for one pomodoro you actually spent on the task. By doing this, you have an accurate record of time estimated and time actually spent on doing a task.