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The Pomodoro Technique by Francesco Cirillo

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 So what is the Pomodoro technique?

This is a time management strategy that takes it’s name from a kitchen timer that looks like a tomato.  A Pomodoro can’t be interrupted and marks 25 minutes of pure work with 3 to 4 minutes quick breaks in between Pomodoros.  In the breaks you do things that aren’t related to your work so you are refreshed for the next one, these breaks are extremely important as they allow you to sustain the pace.  The act of winding up a physical timer shows you commit to that burst of work and visualising the time allows you to develop an improved awareness of personal time. 

Suggests the most prolific source of distractions are from our own mind. These ‘internal interruptions’ may include the sudden desire to order a pizza, update your social media status, or clean your desk. The best approach to dealing with these interruptions is to accept these, treat them in a gentle way by writing them down and deal with these once your Pomodoro is over.

External distractions such as the ping of a new e-mail or a Facebook notification, which should be deactivated when focusing on a Pomodoro.  Colleagues speaking to you can be managed by protecting the Pomodoro.  This means inform effectively, negotiate quickly to reschedule the interruption, and call back the person who interrupted you as agreed. You can reschedule them in a later Pomodoro according to the degree of urgency. 

If a Pomodoro is interrupted by someone or something, significantly that Pomodoro should be considered void, as if it had never been set so then just make a fresh start with a new Pomodoro.

A Pomodoro can’t be split up. For shorter tasks combine these into one Pomodoro.  Longer ones think about how many Pomodoros it will take.  You can potentially plan your day by the number of Pomodoros you have available and allocate the high priority tasks into these.  If a task will take more than five to seven Pomodoros then break the task down further into smaller steps.

Please note this is a goal orientated time management technique and is not to be used for leisure time.

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