We know how much you value your time, and want to share with you a method to make efficiency a fun, daily experience. We call it the “Pomodoro Game”.
Give it a try. It can seriously change your entire experience of work.
It goes like this. Start with a Brain Dump:
1. Every day create a complete list of EVERYTHING you have to do. This can include non-work-related items.
2. Choose your top priority item. Not the thing you want to do the most, the thing that MUST GET DONE next.
Many productivity studies show that most people have a tendency to do the next task that is the least daunting. The problem with this is that often the most challenging (daunting) task is not only the most important, it’s also the one that will make you feel the most satisfied. Get this done first. Then watch the rest of the day sail by.
3. Now write down how long you think this task will take to accomplish.
Imagine that your work day is actually only 5 hours (regardless of how many hours you spend at work or sitting in front of the computer). Be sure to account for time in intervals of 30 minutes. e.g. 30 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hours, etc.
Do you think your top priority task will take less than 5 hours? If you do, go on to step 4. If you don’t, skip to step 5!
4. Write down your next highest priority task and the time, then the one after that, until your tasks add up to 5 hours. DO NOT EXCEED 5 ITEMS ON ONE LIST.
Now you have tomorrow’s TO DO list. By not exceeding 5 items, it is more likely that you will experience the joy of completing everything on tomorrow’s to-do list. This will make you feel more effective and confident, which will make the next day’s list even easier to accomplish.
5. Break each of your tasks into 30 minute chunks. Each 30 minute chunk is a Pomodoro (hence the name!).
For example, a 2.5 hour task = 5 Pomodoros (five 30 min intervals). It’s easy, right?
Now set your timer for 25 minutes. Press start. Do not answer phone calls. Do not check emails. Do not do anything except your first task until the timer buzzes.
When the timer buzzes, feel free to take care of anything that tried to grab your attention (using the 5 minutes you have left) while you were focused. But then start on the next task!
See how many unbroken Pomodoros you can complete in a day, and have fun while doing it!