Deadlines used to only surround us at the office, but they’ve started creeping into our personal lives, too. There are so many of them around us these days that we often feel like we’re hacking through a jungle with a machete.
Deadlines Just Stress Us Out
We hate them, yet we’re surrounded by them. They run our lives, and often cause us a lot of stress.
Take control of your deadlines to reduce the stress. Develop a routine for your tasks and apply it to your deadlines. Life will be easier if you do.
Embracing the Pomodoro Technique
If you’ve already been working with a stress-busting, deadline-killing routine, have you thought to try the Pomodoro Technique? By following five steps, it’s a technique that looks to help you turn time and deadlines into “allies.”
The five steps aren’t that complicated:
Pick a task to focus on
Set a timer on 25 minutes
Work on that task for 25 minutes, until the timer rings
Take a quick five minute break
Every four rotations, or Pomodoros as the pros call them, take a break
Get Out the Measuring Stick
But it doesn’t end there, there are six objectives built in to the technique. Each objective is designed to help you take a baby step towards becoming more productive:
- Objective 1: Learn how much effort each activity requires
- Objective 2: Cut down on interruptions
- Objective 3: Become better at estimating the amount of effort each activity requires
- Objective 4: Be as productive as possible during each 25 minute Pomodoro
- Objective 5: Be better at scheduling and set a timetable
- Objective 6: Apply the technique to other areas of your life
The process will not only help you become more productive with each task, but also learn how your entire process can be more efficient. The more you use it, the more you can streamline your work processes.
Like any routine, adopting the Pomodoro Technique takes time, usually between seven to 20 days.
So don’t stop using it after only one day, it, like all good things in life, takes time to master. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again.
From writers to executives, managers to freelancers, lots of people love the Pomodoro system.
Steve Sande, from the Unofficial Apple Weblog, loves the system and has compiled a list of apps that can help you develop your Pomodoro-based routine. PC or Mac, Steve’s found the app that can help you power through your work using the Pomodoro Technique.
WSJ writer Sue Shellenbarger said, “Although I found this method laughable at first, its simplicity is deceptive.” She also noted it halved the time it took her to fact-check a column.
Lifehacker readers voted it the best productivity hack in a poll from last year.
“Pomodoro is unmanageable for the professional”
Others think the Pomodoro Technique is laughable and unprofessional.
Would you have confidence in someone like a surgeon or lawyer placing such strict time limits on their work?
“Sorry, I can’t finish this surgery because I need my pomodoro break now.”
That would sound a little strange, wouldn’t it?
Mario Fusco sure thinks so. He essentially mocks the technique, especially the tomato-shaped timer, as it’s hard to seem professional when you’re tied to a timer.
LinkedIn employee and blogger Colin Miller thinks the small time intervals the Pomodoro Technique suggests make the technique unworkable, especially when you factor meetings into the equation.
It seems like there are fans and critics everywhere of the Pomodoro Technique. Personally, I’m a fan, but am willing to admit it may look a bit eccentric to the uninitiated.
How about you, do you love the Pomodoro Technique? Are you using it straight-up, or have you modified it for your situation? Leave a comment and let us know!