When I started working as a freelance I had one giant problem:
to manage my time.
At this point a lot of you will be thinking that, since I work from home and no one can see what I am doing, the problem was I was doing almost nothing. But actually it was exactly the opposite: since in my job I have to cure many different points of the communication of different companies, every time an email or a social media notification was coming I was interrupting what I was doing. This was breaking my concentration, so, as I answered the email or checked the social media, I had to lose time restarting what I was previously doing. Very often I was ending my day still having to do a lot of things and incredibly frustrated: where all my time was gone (especially the free time)?
So I started to search for productivity and self-discipline techniques and I found the Pomodoro Technique®, that kinda turned my life.
The Pomodoro Technique® is a technique invented by Francesco Cirillo at the end of the Eighties to help people with time management and attention keeping. It works very easily, let’s see how together.
Basically you need just three things (and nowadays, if you decide to use instead an app or a website, not even those):
– a pen or a pencil;
– some paper;
– a kitchen timer.
If you don’t like just a piece of paper, you can download some ready-to-use pdf on the official site (section “Get to work”); if you want the original timer, you can find there even that. I sorted out with a bloc-notes and a kitchen timer I found at IKEA.
Paper and pencil will be useful to create your to-do list. With the timer you will track the “Pomodoros”, 25 minutes time intervals during which the rule is to not have distractions. This means no emails, no notifications, messages, texts, chats, coffee breaks…only concentration on your task. After 25 minutes you have a 5 minutes break: stand up, have a chat, a coffee, go to the toilet. Write down the time on your paper, because then the process restarts. After four “Pomodoros” you will have a longer break, generally between 15 and 30 minutes.
Easy, isn’t it? You have no idea of how many things you can complete in just 25 minutes with no distractions. After some time you will become very good at it and you will be able to quantify from the start how many “Pomodoros” you need to do a job, and your lists will be full of completed tasks.
Also, since you are here, watch the introductive video:
P.s. writing this article (illustration and translation not included) took me two “Pomodoros” and in the while I’ve been interrupted two times from members of my family breaking suddenly in my room…for this kind of issues, unluckily, there’s no technique that can help 😉