• Rebecca Laidlaw

Manage your time with the Pomodoro Technique

Yes, Pomodoro means tomato in Italian but this is no cooking lesson. The Pomodoro technique - a creation of Francesco Cirillo - is a super simple time management system. It got me through University, makes my workday easier, and helps me stay super productive. If you were ever wondering what my secret is, this is it boo and I'm sharing it with you!

First, credit where it's due. Francesco Cirillo invented this technique in the 1990s after using a tomato-shaped timer to measure his study sessions while at University.

How does it work? Well, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time (unless your vegan then how do you eat an elephant-sized tomato - same principle, I'm gonna assume y'all get it). Breaking up those big, overwhelming tasks into smaller and more manageable Pomodoro's (or sessions) works with the length of our attention spans and can give us the drive to get it done as we only have a certain amount of time allocated to take action.

It involves 5 simple steps:

  1. Decide on your task (You know that thing you've been putting off for like, ever!)

  2. Set a timer for 25 minutes

  3. Work on that task until your timer goes off - DO NOT CHECK YOUR TIMER, DO NOT CHECK YOUR PHONE - NO DISTRACTIONS (I'm not a fan of shouty capitals but this one is important)

  4. Take a 5-minute break - Move your body and get out of the study space, get some water, use the bathroom or have an impromptu dance party

  5. Repeat

Top tip: After you have completed steps 1 - 4 four times take a longer break of 20 minutes.

We're going to take a hot minute here to explain another technique covered by Mr. Cirillo. You can only control so much, if you are distracted by a phone call, a person or group of people use the Inform, Negotiate, Callback strategy:

  • Inform them that you are in the middle of something important

  • Negotiate a better time to get back to them

  • Callback when you have agreed

You can even share these super useful strategies to help them manage their time like a boss too! It really is that simple. Combats procrastination and helps to maintain focus and productivity - it's a win, win, win!

PS. On a slightly related note but not really, plum tomatoes and mixed nuts make for an excellent study snack! FACT!

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