Let me introduce you to my secret weapon… The Pomodoro Technique!
According to Wikipedia, “The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. These intervals are known as “pomodori”, the plural of the Italian word pomodoro for “tomato.” The method is based on the idea that frequent breaks can improve mental agility.”
Without a doubt this is the number one way I get anything accomplished. Like many mompreneurs or solopreneurs (or even entrepreneurs, we’re not discriminating here), I am focused on both providing an income and balancing my work/family life. But I want to be an EntrepreDOer, because at the end of the day it’s what I get DONE that matters!
I want to run my business to enhance my family life, not take away from it. Being productive and knocking out my to-do list is how I can calmly walk away from the computer and not feel anxiety about work left undone.
There are several apps you can get for free in the Google Chrome Store, and/or on a smart phone. My favorite desktop app is Strict Workflow. It uses a 25 minute work, 5 minute break system and in the options will allow you to set up blocked websites to minimize distractions. It comes prepopulated with a list of likely suspects, including
If you would rather have a timer on your phone (I have both, but I’m a true fan of the system!) then Pomodroido is my pick. Pomodroido lets you set a task reminder as you are starting your 25 minute work session, which I find focuses me. For instance I set a task reminder that for this particular 25 minute pomodoro work session I am going to write this blog article. When I hit start I know that for the next 25 minutes writing this article is my only focus. When the timer rings I get a 5 minute break to get up, handle any issues for the kids, grab a drink or just stretch my legs. If I need access to websites for research, information, links or images I leave notes in my article and add them all at the end when looking the information up won’t derail my progress in getting the article written.
When I apply this productivity strategy I find that my to-do list is much more manageable. Are you Pomodoro fan? Do you plan to try it out? Leave a comment below and let me know if the technique has helped you be more productive!