Been a while
It has been a while since I have blogged. That does not mean I have not been practicing productivity procedures, far from it. It just means I was deciding what to do with this blog. I have been blogging a lot about my physical and fitness transformation over at See Your Toes, but I have missed blogging here too. So here I am.
What has changed since I last blogged here? A lot! I have become even better at maintaining my inbox of zero and I will be discussing that over the next couple of weeks. I have become an Evernote fanatic, so much so that I have dropped my much loved Wunderlist and now use Evernote for my to do list too. Again, more to come on that in the coming weeks. Also I have adopted the Pomodoro System.
Love the tomato
What is the Pomodoro System? Think of it as setting the kitchen egg timer to 25 minutes and working as hard and as focused as you can for those 25 minutes. During that 25 minutes, you focus on the one thing you have at hand and get as much done as possible. At the end of the 25 minutes, your timer goes off, and you stop. Then you take a 5 minute break and rinse and repeat.
I use the “My Little Pomodoro” app for my MacBook Pro. All I need to do is hit begin, and it starts counting down and then when it goes off I hit break and it counts down from 5 minutes. As a matter of fact, I set it as I started writing this and right now I can see I have about 19:38 left until it goes off.
So how am I doing this?
I have my “To-Do” list broken up to a few parts such as
- Real Estate
Each of my to-do items for the day is under one of those categories. Again, stay tuned for upcoming posts on Evernote and how I break these up and organize them. So when I sit down in the morning I look at what my big frogs are for the day, the three things I need to make sure I get done. Then my first three 25 minute Pomodoro segments are going to be dedicated to those.
So let’s say my big three for the day are
- Write Executive Summary (Real Estate)
- Call to set up PAC fundraising meeting later this month (Politics)
- Write a blog post (Other)
My first three items of the day will be to spend a 25 minute segment on each of those. This way I can be assured I have made some progress on my important to-do items before the minutia starts adding up and taking over.
Once those three items are done, and I go on to the next Pomodoro time slot, things may not be as clear. Let’s say I get done my 25 minutes of each and I am done those three things for the day. Now for my next 25 minute segment I may look at my real estate section, look at all my to-do items for the day and just start going through them getting as much done and checked off as I can in that allotted time.
Now during these 25 minute segments my email will be closed, phone will be on silence and all distractions will be gone unless it is something I need to complete the tasks at hand. If I am doing my real estate and I need to send some emails it may be open, but I am not checking new emails.
During the 5 minute down time is when I will use the restroom, get more coffee or water, look quickly through my email to see if anything urgent or check Google Plus, Twitter, Look at TPD Facebook page, Google Reader, Drudge Report etc.
The key for me is to eliminate distractions as much as possible and just plow as hard as you can through those 25 minutes. I am always amazed how much I can complete in 25 minutes when I eliminate the distractions, and now little I get done when those distractions are there.
Now this works for me; there is no guarantee it will work for you. I would love to hear from you, have you used the Pomodoro system or what system do you use to make sure your productivity level stays high?