Learning How to Get More Things Done, Quickly

Learning How to Get More Things Done, Quickly
Do you ever find yourself wondering how you’re going to get everything done today? Have the tasks mounted up so much that you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start? Or do you just have one really important task that seems to be taking so long to complete? The kind of task that if you just got it done would either benefit you so much or allow you to relax once it’s complete?
You are far from alone. I’m sure most of us can relate to at least one of those scenarios, most of us several of them for most of our lives.
The good news is that we can start to get more things done in a shorter space of time, quickly and easily. Regular readers of this column will know that I love tips and techniques that are simple and quick to implement. They don’t get much simpler and quicker than today’s.
It is commonly accepted that any task we are working on expands to the time we have available. For instance, if we have a task that might take 30 minutes but we have all afternoon to do it – we will allow it to take all afternoon. Generally by allowing distractions, surfing the net, making unnecessary calls, drinking lots of tea etc.
In 1992 university student Francesco Cirillo was struggling to keep his mind on his studies and was falling behind. He needed to find a way to boost concentration and keep focussed. All he had to hand was a pen, a piece of paper and a tomato shaped kitchen timer. With this he created The Pomodoro Technique (pomodoro is Italian for tomato!).
It’s so simple and yet so effective – I know it works as I used it to write this article in 12 minutes instead of the usual 45!
Here’s how it works, it will appear too simple but go with it!
Choose a task. Set a timer (you don’t need a tomato shaped one!) for 25 minutes. Work relentlessly without distraction until the timer goes off. Take a 5 minute break away from the task. Set the timer and start again. If you use 4 “pomodoros” take a longer break of 15-20 minutes after the fourth one. Repeat until task completed.
Let’s see just how much we can get done today. Maybe you can “ketchup” with some outstanding tasks (sorry couldn’t resist!).