Since becoming a Freelancer I have experimented with various time management strategies most of which work solely on the basis that grappling with time generally means getting more done, an idea I have to admit has never actually sat comfortably with me (instead it has left me wondering just how do you manage time, this mythical beast that must be tamed?!) Inevitably, all have failed, I suspect due to the feeling that none would work for me long term.
We all have those days where nothing gets done even though we feel that we haven’t paused to take a breather. Interruptions, phone calls, emails and, my personal nemesis procrastination (oh and the increasing distractions of the purring ginger, Catmandu!). Enlightenment finally came this week courtesy of Charlie Brooker’s Guardian column who, in his usual style, detailed a personal battleground of distraction when writing. A great article as usual but the bit that I found really interesting was his link to the Pomodoro Technique, a time management approach with a difference.
The technique is by far the simplest approach I have seen, focussing not on the management of time as a whole but on harnessing the power of short and intensive periods of working to effectively plan longer term. Each time period, or pomodoro as the technique suggests, last for 25 minutes during which time no distractions are allowed. None, zilch, zero, just intensive concentration. Then you get to take a break for 5 minutes. The idea being that you count the number of pomodoros required for any given task, aiding the ability to improve and adjust future project planning. The bit I like best is that absolutely no gadgets are required other than a kitchen timer (quite possibly tomato shaped, hence the name!) a pencil and piece of paper.
So this week, I am putting the idea into action to see if the technique holds the promise I imagine. Take a look at the idea in more succinct detail this Quote me Tuesday by visiting the Pomodoro Technique Website.