Sara Hinchliffe shares her top tip for staying focused
I’m experimenting with the Pomodoro technique to manage tasks which need a bit of consistent attention. All you need is a plastic kitchen timer (in the shape of a tomato).
You set the timer for 25 minutes; when it rings you have a 5-minute break. That’s a pomodoro. After 4 (or 3, whatever works for you), have a longer break or 20 or 30 minutes. You tick a piece of paper each time you finish a pomodoro. You can either have one big task on the go – taking your allocation of pomodoros for the morning – or several smaller ones which you might allocate one or two pomodoros to.
How’s it going?
I’m finding this helps with focus – it encourages you to keep at a task without stopping to check email or have a chat – but it also encourages you to take breaks. Another benefit is that counting your ticks tells you how long a task takes you to complete. Or you can allocate a clear block of time to a task which helps with ensuring you are budgeting your time according to your priorities. This is coming in handy to help me make sure my time is focused and well-spent.
So, worth an experiment. My pomodoro cost a fiver from Amazon, and I can always re-purpose it for timing the pasta!