Time is a precious commodity at work — unfortunately, most time management systems take more time to use than they save. Except for one. And it's free! The Pomodoro Technique is my time management tool of choice. For many of us time is an enemy. The anxiety triggered by “the ticking clock” and deadlines to be met leads to ineffective work and study habits and procrastination. The Pomodoro Technique transforms time into a valuable ally.
Francesco Cirillo created the Pomodoro Technique in 1992 after a long search to improve his own study habits. Starting in the late '90s the technique was embraced by professional teams. It can help us accomplish what we want to do and chart continuous improvement in the way we do it.
How does it work? The basic unit of work in the Pomodoro Technique can be split in five simple steps: 1. Choose a task to be accomplished 2. Set the Pomodoro to 25 minutes (the Pomodoro is the timer) 3. Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings, then put a check on your index card 4. Take a short break (5 minutes is OK) 5. Every 4 Pomodoros take a longer break
I find that this tool allows me the chunk-out my work in small bites (1/2 hour blocks) and get the most important things done first. In addition, it's not like a religion like the other time management tools out there (that are also quite expensive).
Here's a free book that explains all things Pomodoro. Mangia!
Check out Francesco's site at http://www.pomodorotechnique.com.