I currently run two startups and a ton of other stuff simultaneously. This means I often have more to do every day than the average 25-year-old. It also means I have to work longer hours to get things done across both companies.
Because of this, I am very obsessed with staying productive and I am constantly reviewing how I am spending my 24 hours each day to see what activities are reducing my productivity and efficiency.
I am also naturally hyperactive which makes me easily susceptible to distractions and I sometimes end up doing things I didn’t plan to do..like mindlessly surfing the web at the expense of my primary goals for that day. This nature of mine conflicts directly with my obsession with efficiency and productivity.
Over the years, I have spent a lot of time researching and trying out different tools, workflows and frameworks to help me in my quest to remain as productive as possible.
One of the techniques which have worked for me is the Pomodoro Technique.
The methodology is simple: When faced with any large task or series of tasks, I break the work down into short, timed intervals (called “Pomodoros”) that are spaced out by short breaks. This trains my brain to focus for short periods and helps me stay on top of deadlines. (still a daily challenge)
Pomodoro is a cyclical system. I work in short sprints, which makes sure that I am consistently productive. I also get to take regular breaks to bolster my motivation and keep me creative.
This is how I go about my tasks using Pomodoro.
1. I go to my Trello board and pick a task I want to complete out of my tasks for the day.
2. I set my online Pomorodo timer at tomato-timer.com which I use from my browser. The time is preset for 25 minutes.
3. I work on the tasks until the Pomodoro Timer rings and then I take a 5-minute break to stretch around.continue with the task.
While I am working on a task, I put my phone on silence and ignore calls. I use an app called Greenify to hibernate my social media applications so that I don’t receive messages. This helps me to avoid distractions.
After every 4 Pomodoros (about 2 hours) I take a longer break, answer messages and return calls.
Working this way ensures that I get a lot done within a short time and I meet deadlines.
Another benefit of using the Pomodoro Technique is that since I work in 25-minute bursts, over time, I am able to better estimate how long it generally takes me to get a particular task done so that I can plan my schedule better.
If you like the Pomodoro technique, you can use it too and remain on top of your game. 🙂
Featured image credit: Lifehacker