It’s the last day of February and the last day of National Time Management Month!
Here is our last tip – TIP #4: STRUCTURE TIME MANAGEMENT
According to this time management concept, you should schedule blocked time for work followed by set periods of rest.
The Pomodoro Method was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980’s and he used a timer to break work into intervals – typically 25 minutes in length – separated by short breaks. Each interval is known as a pomodoro (from the Italian word for tomato) after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer Cirillo used as a university student.
The original technique has six steps:
- Decide on the task to be done
- Set the pomodoro timer (typically for 25 minutes)
- Work on the task
- End work when the timer rings and take a short break (typically 5–10 minutes)
- After four cycles – or four pomodoros – take a longer break (typically 15-30 minutes) and once the long break is finished, return to step 2
This technique can be tailored with different time frames for work and rest. Another popular option is the 52/17 method with blocks of 52 minutes for work followed by a 17 minute break. Figuring out your personal habits and productivity cycles will help you determine the optimal time blocks for your individual needs and, by allowing for uninterrupted work time punctuated with breaks, your productivity and creativity can flow.
Check out “Deep Work” by Cal Newport. In this book, he teaches you how to develop your focus and resist distractions which will help drive you toward your most important goals. He contends that focus is like a mental muscle: Through deliberate training, you can strengthen your focus and expand your mental capacity.