I was watching social media coach Vanessa Lau on YouTube who recommends among other tools for keeping her business Intelligent Change ‘s Productivity Planner which incorporates elements of The Pomodoro Technique, a method for achieving optimum progress in your day.
As a compulsive list maker who is addicted to planners and journals, I’ve spent a tremendous amount of time, money and effort trying to be more productive, procrastinate less and advance my goals efficiently.
From bullet journaling to using digital online tools like Evernote and Trello, I’ve tried it all to varying levels of success… or non success.
I purchased the 5 x 8 journal from Amazon and it cost just $24.99 which I found quite reasonable compared to many other similar journals I’ve found out there.
The Pomodoro method requires you to set a timer for 25 minutes and break down tasks into 25 minute intervals separated by short breaks.
Each interval is known as a pomodoro, the Italian word for ‘tomato’, after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that creator, business coach Francesco Cirillo, used as a university student.
To put The Pomodoro Technique into effect you’re supposed to:
- decide what task needs to be accomplished (it can be school work, house work, business or anything);
- disable all distracting alerts, pop ups and possibly uninstall or delete addictive social media apps like Facebook, Whattsap, Instagram, Twitter from your phone, at least temporarily;
- Set the pomodoro timer, ususally using an app or your mobile phone or Alexa or whatever you use;
- Work on the task;
- End work when the timer rings and check it off the to do list;
- If you have fewer than four checkmarks, take a short break (3–5 minutes), then go to step 2;
- After four pomodoros, take a longer break (15–30 minutes), reset your checkmark count to zero, then go to the next task.
A goal of the technique is to reduce the impact of internal and external interruptions from focus and flow. A pomodoro is indivisible; when interrupted during a pomodoro, either the other activity must be recorded and postponed.
Intelligent Change’s planner offers two different types of methods for checking off tasks: the “Get It Done” and the “Hit the Target” methods.
In the former, your job is to do the task, in 25 minute breaks, no matter how long it takes. You just keep working until it’s done.
With the latter, you predict how long it will take or assign a specific number of pomodoros to the task. As you complete one, you fill in a bubble then when you’re done, note down how long it actually took you to complete the job.
At the end of the week, there are pages that let you jot down weekly wins, what tasks were accomplished and which were not and what you learned, then add goals and targets for the next week.
There are also inspirational quotes, mini motivational passages interspersed in between the daily journal pages.
I had a rough start and struggled to complete my list each day, but am still working through it.
I’m determined to get better each day.
What I love about the planner so far is the accountability. It forces me to track how much time I spend on my tasks and forces me to be more efficient.
Each day has a rating system for you to give yourself. It’s a 1-10 rating on how well you did with a few lines added for you to explain what happened to stop you from completing your task. It’s great for keeping yourself honest.
And also, you don’t even have to use the method if you don’t want. I love it!
Consider investing in your own! Get it at Amazon for just $24.
Jay Jay Ghatt is also editor at Techyaya.com, founder of the JayJayGhatt.com and JayJayGhatt.com where she teaches online creators how to navigate digital entrepreneurship and offers Do-It-For-You Blogging Service. She manages her lifestyle sites BellyitchBlog, Jenebaspeaks and JJBraids.com and is the founder of BlackWomenTech.com 200 Black Women in Tech On Twitter. Her biz podcast 10 Minute Podcast is available on iTunes and Player.fm. Follow her on Twitter at @Jenebaspeaks. Buy her templates over at her legal and business templates on Etsy shop!