Five minutes are enough to dream a whole life, that is how relative time is. Mario Benedetti
Five minutes are enough to dream a whole life, that is how relative time is.
I love time management hacks, solutions, tools, and systems. Anything that can help me work smarter and get me enjoying life is a win for me.
I got thinking about tomatoes working on a social media post about taking breaks. Right now, you might be a little worried that I am hungry and might recommend I go for lunch. Tomato sandwich, anyone?
In all seriousness, breaks and tomatoes are related.
As I reflected on the tip to take a break, I started thinking about the time management system of Pomodoro’s. Often depicted as a timer in the shape of a tomato. (ahhhh – See how they are related?)
I don’t talk about Pomodo’s, but if you don’t have another way to manage your time or keep focused, Pomodo’s are effective.
I started out using Pomodo’s to break myself from the habit of multi-tasking and teach myself to take breaks. Working nonstop and multi-tasking were bad habits I picked up in my corporate life but were not serving me in the entrepreneurial journey. Working without breaks was causing me to burn out because when is the work ever done? Multi-tasking wasn’t working either, as it meant that I often had no idea what I was working on and would finish the day with no idea what I accomplished.
Today, I set my intention for the day based on the time slots I have booked and the week I planned. Then I work on the items scheduled for that time block. I build in breaks into my day. Breaks to walk away, get water or sit outside for 10 minutes.
Before I got to where I am today, I had to start from where I was at. That meant breaking habits. Pomodoro’s helped me do that.
What are Pomodro’s? Thank you for asking!
Pomodoro’s are 25-minute blocks of time. With 5 minute breaks. The idea is that after about 4 Pomodoro’s, you take a more extended, let’s say 25 minutes, break. You determine what you will work on and set aside how many Pomodoro’s you need to complete it, and schedule that time.
Using a timer, set the alarm at 25 minutes. Work, without interruptions, no distractions for 25 minutes, and then when the alarm goes off, take a 5-minute break. Get up, stretch, or go to the bathroom. Then return for the next 25 minute focused work.
If you are struggling to stay focused, procrastinates on getting started, or forgets to take breaks, this technique might be perfect for you. Just knowing that you have 25 minutes before your break is enough to get you moving.
Feel free to customize the Pomodoro for you. The recommended length is 25 minutes with 5-minute breaks. But you might want to work at a different interval. Maybe you can work undistracted and focused for 50 minutes and then take a 10-minute break. Find what works for you.
One of the Pomodoro’s ideas that I love is how it can be used to manage a meeting. Look at setting meetings to Pomodoro length. If you schedule meetings for 25 minutes in length, how much more focused and to the point would you be? And if you had to book 2 Pomodoro’s to get through an agenda, taking a 5-minute break where people could stretch or maybe check email quickly might be an effective way to keep everyone on task, awake and stress-free.
What do you think? Will you try Pomodor’s?
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