In the last post I talked about what the Pomodoro Time Management Technique is. At its basic, the idea is to focus solely on one task for 25 mins, and then take a short break. Train your brain to avoid distractions. Seems simple enough, but how well did it work on my initial test run?
I started Saturday with a list of chores that I wanted to get through. I’ve been using a check list for months, trying to get into the habit of making sure that everything gets done on a regular basis. I’ve had varying levels of success with that check list. Making the list isn’t difficult. Sticking to it.. that’s where my time management needs work.
I brought up my list, which started with “Living room” and set my electronic timer to 25 mins. I spent the next 25 mins picking up everything that didn’t belong in the living room, dusting, sweeping, and watering the plants. To give you an example of how this is different from my regular routine… I picked up a dirty glass and took it to the kitchen, where I immediately felt as though I needed to pick up something that I saw there… I was totally distracted from the task at hand, which was to concentrate on the living room. Several times during that 25 mins, I found myself getting pulled toward another room.. but the living room wasn’t totally clean yet. Each time I realized what I was doing and went back to my goal until everything looked immaculate in the living room. It didn’t take the full 25 mins, so I crossed living room off my list, and went to my next task, the bedroom.
The bedroom is a pretty big order, and my timer went off before I got very much done. I sat down with a glass of Coke and enjoyed a 5 min break. Let me tell you… 5 mins goes by super quick.
After 4 pomodori (25 mins of focussed attention) I rewarded myself with a 30 min break. I looked around… 100 mins of focused cleaning had resulted in both the living room and bedroom looking at though they were being featured in a Canadian Living magazine. They were really that good! The kitchen was the third thing on my list, which looked considerably better than when I had started, but would require more time.
So that was the good. My next post will discuss where Pomodoro fell flat.. or more precisely where I let it down.