Category: Time Management Methods

3490905 time in businessAll of us have wished we had more time at some point or another, but the reality is that it’s not going to happen. No matter how much you want, wish for or dream of having it, you’re going to have the same amount of time allotted to each day.

The magic number is 1,440, so just how do you “add” to that? There are things that you can do as a means to getting more time in your day. Of I’m not talking about actually making your days longer, but about taking back your time. You can get about 2 hours back into your day, which is awesome when you think about the amount of time you can get back over the course of a week.

There are a few different ways you can get back some of your time but here I’m going to share how focus can help you get back some of the time you’re losing. What are your days like without focus? You might already know because that’s the experience you’re having right now. Focus is about backing up for a minute and getting really clear about where you’re going and what you seek to create and how you want to feel. For that you need vision, and to be able to see your vision you need clarity. Without clarity, there is no vision and without vision you can’t get where you expect to get.  The only thing you can expect is to spin your wheels.  The clearer you are about where you’re going, what you’re creating and how you want to feel inside of your every-day experiences, the more efficient and effective you can be in achieving those things.

Once the clarity is there, you can create the vision and once you have the crystal clear vision, you can focus and stay on point. It becomes much easier to know what your priorities are because your vision is clear…you know what you’re up to and what’s important.  You know that the new task that just became necessary is nowhere as important as what you have on your agenda so it’s easy to not get distracted by it. You can easily delegate it and keep it moving. Without focus, your days are like a blurry picture. You can’t see it clearly and you certainly can’t enjoy it. Get focused and gain back the time you’re losing without it.


So, I’ve talked about this technique and how it works, so now, let’s talk about tracking.  Depending upon what they want to track, individuals archive hard copies of the Pomodoros they’ve completed.

If you were going to use the technique, you might want to track how many Pomodoros it takes to complete each task on average, or maybe a type of task or specific tasks.  Tracking and recording are a good way to see how you improve over time, especially if you are specifically working on increasing your productivity.

Tracking can be quite effective for entrepreneurs and solopreneurs  looking to see how their time is being used, especially since those entities are one-man/woman shows.  Tracking the cost for the time involved on a project or type of project can contribute to knowing if current rates are appropriate.  Small business owners looking to see what employees are really doing, what they’re getting done and what it’s costing the company can implement the Technique for individuals and work groups company wide and implement tracking.

No matter how you use the tracking portion of this process, the Pomodoro Technique can be quite effective and can contribute to overall increased productivity.

The process of the Pomodoro Technique is made up of 5 stages: planning, tracking, recording, processing and visualizing.  A Pomodoro is 30 minutes long and includes 25 minutes of work and a 5 minute break.  Those using the Pomodoro Technique choose tasks they want to work on at the beginning of the day, prioritize them and place them on a to-do list in the order they want to work on them.

Once that’s done, the timer is set and work begins.  The segment can’t be interrupted or divided.  If it is interrupted, it’s considered to be void and is started over.  When the timer goes off, an “X” is placed next to the task that was worked on and the 5 minute break time begins.  The break time lets the individual disconnect and allows the mind to assimilate what’s been learned in the last 25 minutes.  It’s also a great time for the quick stretching or walk that most don’t get during the course of the work day.  The point of the break is absolutely no significant mental activity.

Once the break is over, it’s time for the next segment, or Pomodoro, and the timer is set for 25 minutes again and work begins and continues until the timer goes off again.  The process continues with a longer break, taken every four Pomodoros.  These longer breaks lasts anywhere from 15-30 minutes and are used for checking email or voice mail or can be used for the same purpose as the shorter breaks. Whatver the longer breaks are used for they are not used for focusing on the tasks that were worked on during each Pomodoro.  Pomodoros continue in the same fashion until the task at hand is complete and can then be crossed of the to-do list.  If a task is finished before the timer goes off, time is used to review what was done or to make improvements until the timer goes off.

More on the Pomodoro Technique in the next post.

Many people experience the feeling of not having enough time to get everything done.  There are step to take toward effectively managing time; finding the appropriate tool, setting up systems and using various techniques to get things done.  One such technique is the Pomodoro Technique.

The Pomodoro Technique is a method for managing time that is said to make time an ally.  It was created by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s after attempting to improve his study habits while a university student in Rome.  He started to use a kitchen time shaped like a tomato, (Pomodoro in Italian) to help him stay on task. In the late ’90s the technique was used by professional teams.

The purpose of the technique is to rid one of anxiety, enhance concentration and focus, strengthen determination and boost motivation and increase awareness of decisions and support determination to achieve what you set out to do.  It’s founded upon three assumptions:  a different way of looking at time, which dispels anxiety; better use of the mind and employing simple tools to apply the technique.

This method has a good foundation for getting through the things on your to-do list. In upcoming posts, I’ll share more about the Pomodoro technique and how you can use it to help you get from “to-do” to “done” on a regular basis.

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