Have you always struggled with deadlines and guilt and the ever increasing pile of work? Most of the school or office work that we need to do has two aspects: focus tasks that we need to really concentrate on to get done, and the lighter tasks which can be done without distraction. The problem is that most of us follow the same techniques to get both these tasks done, when it is pretty clear how different these tasks are. Pomodoro technique is what probably will help us all.

Time Management

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Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro technique is a time management technique that has recognized this crucial difference of tasks and helps you to manage your time better. You can download the ebook and timer app of it if you feel the need.

Some praise for the technique:

Newsweek listed the Pomodoro Technique as one of the best ways to “Get Smarter in 2012” and it was voted the “Most Popular Productivity Method” by he Lifehacker community.”


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“Filled with incredibly powerful time-management advice, The Pomodoro Technique Third Edition is a God-send for procrastinators. The Wall Street Journal says the method can “help anyone to focus.”

Below I outline the general principles that the program is based on, so that you can make a choice:

Task requirement

As mentioned above, find the requirements of the task. Is it a focus task or a light task? How much effort and energy does it require?


Plan your week such that you have light tasks and focus tasks distributed equally. Make sure that you keep the quieter hours and when you have more energy, for the focus tasks. You also have to plan your day so that you do not have too many focus tasks on one day.


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The actual task

So, given that you have identified a focus task and have sat down to do it, follow these steps:

  • Keep a timer for 25 mins
  • Put your phone on flight mode and turn off all distractions.
  • Do only that task for 25 minutes, fully and completely.
  • After the 25 minutes, take a 5 to 10-minute break, which should also be timed.
  • Move on to the next task.

Keep in mind

Do not do too many focus tasks in a day. It can be draining. Aim at about 3 to 5 focus tasks a day, which comes to between 1.5 to 3 hours a day. Focus tasks would include writing a report or paper, editing a draft etc. Make sure to sub-divide the task if it is a long one like writing an annual report. The time that’s left after the focus tasks can be used for lighter tasks like writing emails, making calls etc which do not require high concentration. This looks easy but it may take time to work even 10 minutes without distraction.

Why try it

There will be a sense of achievement as you gradually tick off more and more stuff off your list, and you will get a lot more done than before. There will be no sense of guilt when you enjoy your free time doing what you love.

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