So-what-is-the-PomodorosIf you know anything about Italian language, you’re probably wondering how the ‘tomato’ technique could possibly enhance your time management skills. The Pomodoros technique has less to do with tomatoes and more to do with strategies for lengthy tasks that can quite often result in fidgety minds and short attention spans.

Created in the 1980s by Italian Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro technique has soared in popularity and is one of the most commonly used and referred to strategies for time management. As with anything, this method isn’t a one size fits all strategy and won’t work for every individual,  however, it is still worth taking into consideration if you find yourself struggling with time management.

The basic premise of the Pomodoro technique is using time efficiently. This is always easier said than done, but with this technique you actively break your time down into sections. For every project that comes up throughout the day, you budget your time and take periodic breaks. For example, work hard for twenty five minutes and enjoy a five minute break. It doesn’t sound like rocket science, but without this active thought process the technique will not work.

Frequent breaks keep the mind focused and fresh. For long and intimidating to-do lists or projects, the Pomodoro technique helps you to achieve goals faster by forcing you to focus and adhere to strict timing. Without structured timing, the mind wanders and procrastination and distraction occurs. By constantly timing your activities, you become accountable for what is achieved in the structured time frame.

The Pomodoro technique focuses on 25 minute intervals. It is recommended to use a kitchen timer or something similar to have a physical attribute of the time assigned to each task. You set the timer for 25 minutes, work productively and effectively for this time frame, and then reward yourself with a five minute break. Each period is called a ‘pomodoro’ and after each interval you then mark your progress with an X. It is also worth noting how many times during the ‘pomodoro’ you felt distracted or fidgety.

By using a physical representation of time, such as a kitchen timer (or purchasing an official Pomodoro timer shaped as a tomato), you are able to see the time ticking before you and work to achieve your goals before the buzzer goes off. Then, once the buzzer does go off and you have completed the tasks, there is a genuine feeling of satisfaction for having used your time productively.

The best thing about the Pomodoro technique is that is free and easy to try. There is absolutely no harm in trying this technique and you ultimately have nothing to lose by giving it a go. The technique has been known to reduce procrastination in those who are often at risk of becoming distracted when a task seems too long. By breaking time down into sections, each part of the task feels more achievable and manageable.

Have you tried this technique?  I’d love to hear how you went with your comments below.

Brian Tracey is a great advocate of effective Time Management.  Here is one of his great little video gems.

brian tracey


In summary, you’ll learn why you should:

1. Prepare in Advance.

2. Schedule Your Time.

3. Start Early.

4. Improve your Organisational Skills.

5. Increase Your Productivity.

6. Consider Air Travel Productivity.


Let me know what you think in the comments below.


Effective time management is so important in today’s hectic modern society.

People are constantly on the go dealing with so many different priorities all the time. Particularly with the dominance of smart phone technology, it can be difficult to ever really switch off and have separation between work and personal life.

Because of this, we often feel like we are constantly in a juggling act of impossible multi-tasking just to get everything done. While it can feel productive to do many tasks at once, it is actually degenerative to mental and physical health to multitask too often.

In fact, moving from task to task can actually mean that you are being less productive.  We think that we are saving time by doing a million things at once, but this can actually be slowing us down. Each task that we set out to achieve requires a specific mindset. Doing multiple tasks at once can hinder this thought process. It is much better to pay your bills, and then attend to the emails waiting for you. Otherwise the thought processes can intersect and confuse the understanding of the task. For example, if you have four bills to pay and seven emails to reply to, you have eleven tasks. Ordering these tasks 1 – 11 sets out a structured pattern on how to attend to each task. Jumping from task 3 to 6 then back to 1 and then to 11 confuses the order and requires more energy and concentration to remember the step you are up to. A distracted mind can often lead to more mistakes, which is exactly what we want to avoid.  There is a real cost to your productivity when you keep switching tasks.

Quite often, the reason we multitask is because we see a back log of tasks that are waiting for us and we stress. Of course it is natural to stress when sorting out so many different aspects of life. But if you think that trying to type a text while unpacking the groceries and thinking about the household chores that need be done is going to reduce stress, it might be time to think again. Breaking time down into categories and sections is more effective than multitasking. Give different tasks a certain priority number and attend to them in order. Ultimately, each task on your mind isn’t going anywhere. You can try to scramble three tasks at the one time, but it doesn’t save time. If you do each task properly and take it one step at a time, you’re still completing the same three things. The only difference is that the latter approach means you can focus properly and not feel completely frazzled about doing three things at once.

So next time you’re trying to text and walk or flicking through twenty tabs open on your internet browser, have a think about what you’re really do. Take time to do one task properly and dedicate your energy to one thing at a time to really get the best out of everything. After all, you want to live in the real world, to be mindful, to be present and enjoy the moments of life without being caught up and stressed about doing everything at once!

I very much want to hear your thoughts and feedback on multitasking, please add your comments below.

You probably  know this scenario well.  Are you like me? I sit down to work on a task.  I just need to get organised!  And suddenly I find a million other things that I need to do. Maybe its walking the dog in some lavish park in Brisbane, cooking a four course dinner, having a cup of the finest tea, or just wandering around in circles in desperation to avoid the task at hand.

Procrastination has found its way into many lives and it tends to weave a web of self-destructive tendencies that take away our chance to be productive. Procrastination might be there convincing you that you’re too tired, too busy, too stressed or in need of something else before you can complete a task. So now is the time to get procrastination under control and take back your will power to complete tasks without distraction.

  • Deadlines and goals

    will help you to complete a task on time. Give yourself a set time frame in which you want to get something done and have goals or milestones to mark out different stages of the self-imposed time frame so that you know when you are achieving goals.

  • Focus on smaller goals

    so that you’re not intimidated by a huge, daunting large task. Break your tasks into smaller time periods and focus on one thing at a time.

  • Change your environment

    if you feel like you are becoming stressed or anxious. Take your work with you to a new place, whether it’s a change of room in your house or office or going to a café. Even taking a small break and going for a walk to get a change of scenery can increase productivity.

  • Tell other people about your goals

    so that you are more determined to meet them. Make sure you are completing goals for your own benefit, but invite family and friends into the process of how you are going about achieving goals. Having support will encourage you to stay focused.

  • Focus on the end point

    and visualise the future you want to achieve. Think clearly about where you want to go and how this task is going to help you achieve that. Keep that image clear in your mind and allow it to inspire you to work hard.

  • Reward progress

    that you make along the way. Don’t be afraid of extrinsic motivation and if that chocolate bar or fun social event on the weekend is going to encourage you to work harder, let it be a way to avoid procrastination.

  • Re-clarify your goals

    to make sure you are staying on the right track. If you have been procrastinating for a while, you might have lost sight of what you were actually trying to achieve before the procrastination. Take another look at your long term goals and get back on track.

Ultimately, the most important and effective way to eliminate procrastination is to find the motivation to just sit down and get it done.

What tips do you have to avoid procrastination?  How do you stay on top and avoid distraction?