A simple and effective way to overcome procrastination is to use the Pomodoro technique!
How to ‘Pomodoro*’
A ‘Pomodoro’ refers to a 25 minute block of time, followed by a 5 minute break. So simple, so effective. The idea is to plan your work in bite-sized chunks to sustain focus and improve productivity. It’s a brilliant tool for kick-starting those things you procrastinate on.
Try it by following these simple steps:
Plan your work.
Write a list of things you want to accomplish today. Its ideal to ‘batch’ similar types of work so that you can get into a flow. I am using Pomodor today to plow through some dreaded admin tasks (and also for writing this blog post!)
Batch your work: Aim to do one category of work instead of hopping back and forth between different kinds of tasks. Try grouping tasks as follows;
- Phone Calls – client follow-up calls, sales calls, scheduling appointments
- Administrative Tasks – filing, expense reports, bookkeeping
- Writing – blog posts, social media updates, proposals
- Errands – dry cleaning, bank, drug store
- Report Analysis – number crunching, data analysis.
Do your work: Choose which task to start first, ideally the most important of the day.
- Set the timer** for 25 minutes (= one Pomodoro unit).
- Get working!
Stop doing your work:
When the timer rings, take a 5 minute break. Don’t work through the break. Its essential to do something other than work:
- Get a drink of water
- Walk around
- Play with the dog.
On to the next Pomodoro. No excuses.
You will be amazed at the momentum gained by using this technique. And by taking frequent breaks you will have energy to spare at the end of the day. Try it and let me know how it goes.
To learn more about this attend a How to Get Things Done workshop in Calgary on June 21.
- *See www.pomodorotechnique.com for more detailed instruction, products and free template downloads.
- **Timers: You can use a kitchen timer or download a Pomodoro app on your smartphone, PC or Mac. It will countdown for 25 minutes and then allocate a 5 minute break.