Too much to do & too little time? Try this time management technique with a difference.


Cherry tomatoYou have a list as long as your arm of things to do at work – and another for things to do once you get home.

Sometimes it’s hard to even start because it all seems so overwhelming. And that’s when procrastination and panic set in, and stress can start to build up.

Adopting a time management technique called Pomodoro can help.

It’s so simple:

  1. Pick a task – it can be anything: small, big, something that you’ve been putting off for the last 3 weeks….. *
  2. Set a timer for 25 minutes – Pomodoro’s creator uses a tomato shaped timer, but being more conventional and using a watch, clock, phone is just as effective!
  3. Work at that task.
  4. When the timer rings, stop work. Congratulations, you have completed a Pomodoro!
  5. Take a 5 minute break and do something completely different.
  6. You can repeat this process up to 3 more times, continuing your original task or moving on to something new.
  7. Once you have completed 4 Pomodoros, take a longer break of 20-30 minutes. That’s 2 hours work done already and look how much you’ve achieved!

* If you finish a smaller task before the 25 minutes is up, move on to another smaller task to fill the time. For example, sort out those receipts, put that file in order, hoover, make a shopping list, tidy your desk…….

There is only one hard and fast rule:

When you are doing your chosen task, focus on that task only!! No checking emails, texts, facebook, twitter, wandering off for a coffee etc. This can all be done in your 5 minute break.

It’s as simple as that. See if it works for you…..

For more information see Pomodoro’s website.

Oliver Burkeman writes some great tips on time management, how to beat procrastination and general routes to mental wellbeing. His Guardian column is well worth a look.



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