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Monday, September 12, 2011

Pomodoro Productivity

I'm hard at work- REALLY!
A week or so ago, I was talking with Camy Tang about re-evaluating things on my plate and time management. She told me about the Pomodoro technique. She had read about it on Mary DeMuth's blog, and since I respect Mary as a fellow superwoman, and it was working for Camy, I checked it out.

Wowie Zowie!!

The first day I used it, I got all my regular work done, plus some writing, plus some chit chat with a good friend. I've been using it off and on for the better part of a week, and when I remember to use it, I'm finding that I'm getting a lot more done.

Now, since I don't have a handy dandy tomato timer, I've been using the microwave timer, which has been great for me, because it forces me to get up and turn off the timer, thus forcing me to stop work. Before, I'd look at the clock and think, "just a few more minutes," and keep going.

For those of you scratching your head about the technique, basically, what you do is take 25 minutes and spend it on one task, then when the time goes off, take a 5 minute break, then do it again. Each of these segments is called a Pomodoro. After four Pomodoros, you take a longer break.

Since I work at home, I've been using my breaks to straighten up the house, start dinner, do laundry, etc. I'm amazed at how much housework I get done during my breaks! Better yet, I don't feel as overwhelmed because I think, "only five minutes of putting laundry away. How much laundry can I get put away in five minutes?" And then, when my timer goes off, I leave my laundry where it is, and get back to work!

Today I crossed everything off my to-do list, including a couple of items I keep moving to another day because under my old haphazard method, I ran out of time. The only thing I didn't do is something I forgot to write down.

For me, the key is going to be remembering to actually use the system. My crossed off list proves that it works much better for me than anything else I've tried.

What time management system works for you?


Jenny B. Jones said...

As much as words like "productive" and "on task" make me break out in hives, this is the second time I've heard about this method, and I need to try it.

One of these days.

Camy Tang said...

Cute picture!

I'm so glad this method is working for you! I've been so much more productive. Plus it somehow doesn't seem as daunting to think I'm only writing for 25 minutes as opposed to, "I have to write a chapter."

Danica Favorite said...

Jen, those words make me break out in hives too, but I was drowning in all of my work. I actually feel like I can handle it now.

Thanks Camy. That's my boyfriend in the pic. I met him on my research trip to SC. He's hot, isn't he?

It definitely works. I'm glad you told me about it.