How a small red tomato can help your time management skills

Pomodoro TechniqueMaking the most of your time can be notoriously tricky if you work from home. Distractions are all around and before you know it the day is over, along with your chances of making a decent profit.

If procrastination is your thing, you may be interested in a time management technique that’s been around since the 1980s. The Pomodoro Technique is a process whereby you allocate blocks of time – 25 minutes – to each piece of work you need to complete, and then take a 5-minute break after each one.

You can spread larger jobs over several blocks of time, and after completing 4 chunks of 25 minutes, you take a longer break of 15-20 minutes.

It’s all about focus. Spending each block of 25 minutes focussing on just 1 task without doing or thinking about anything else. It might sound simple but it trains your mind to concentrate for short periods, and in doing so can improve productivity and help you gain a useful insight into your own working practices.

Why a tomato?

Francesco Cirillo, the inventor of the technique, used a tomato-shaped kitchen timer for timing his own work, and named each successfully completed 25-minute work period a ‘pomodoro.’

In addition to the basic timing of your work, the technique also encourages you to chart your progress with extra details such as how many times you were distracted.

By making a note of this for each 25-minute work period, you can see how well you are doing in avoiding procrastination, which gives you motivation to crack on with more work rather than clean the fridge!

You can download a free PDF about the technique here, where you’ll also find some other free goodies and resources.

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