Prioritizing is Easier Than We Think

Prioritizing is Easier Than We Think


APRIL 8, 2019

Prioritizing is Easier Than We Think   

Ever find yourself staring at the clock and wondering what you should be doing in that moment, even though you know you should be getting a million things done? I know I do! Honestly, the list seems to be never ending! How do we manage our everyday "to do list" without feeling overwhelmed, or paralyzed? I found this nifty prioritizing/time management technique that seems to do the trick. As we all are fitness lovers, we know we can get through a fitness class if the class is broken down into segments where we work then rest, then work, then rest... This neat technique is basically the same format! Here is a look into the Pomodoro Technique developed by Francesco Cirillo, written in a great article from :  

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

Developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s, the Pomodoro Technique, named after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer Cirillo used as a time-management tool in his student days, is a simple concept that involves separating your working/ study time into 25 minute sessions (called a pomodoro), each of which is followed by a 5 minute break. Then after 4 pomodoro sessions, you take a longer break.This simple time-management system claims to teach you how to work with time instead of against it. By training your brain to focus completely for short periods interspersed with short breaks, it can help you stay on top of your workload as well as keep your motivation and creativity high.Here’s a quick guide to how it works:

1. Make a list- Decide what you need to accomplish before you start working/studying (make a to-do list if it helps). Your list could include lots of tasks, each taking 1 or 2 sessions, or just 1 task for the entire day.Try to work out how long each task on your list will take and assign the corresponding number of 25 minute sessions to it. Remember to schedule time for your breaks too – 5 minutes after each 25 minute session and a longer break after 4 complete sessions. You should be able to schedule your entire working day or study period this way.

2. Set your timer- Using a kitchen timer or the timer on your computer or smartphone, set it to countdown 25 minutes. Try telling yourself you’ll work on that task for that session without any disruptions and devote your complete attention to it. If you tend to get lots of disruptions while working or studying, try to prevent them before you start the session – switch off your phone, for instance, or shut the door. If something you need to attend to comes up during the session, write yourself a note about it and deal with it when the 25 minutes is up.

3. Stop when the bell rings- After immersing yourself in your task for 25 minutes, stop when the timer goes off and take a 5 minute break. Make an agreement with yourself that you will take the break, even if you’re in the middle of something important. Taking a break will improve your energy and concentration levels, and you can return to what you were doing or your next task feeling refreshed.It’s a good idea to walk away from your desk or work area whenever possible during your breaks, as moving around will help boost your circulation and heart rate. Try getting up and making a cup of tea, or do something a bit more physical such as some stretches. At the same time, let your mind think about anything other than work to give your brain a break too.You can use your 5 minute breaks to catch up on emails, phone calls or social media, but creating some physical distance between you and your work space is more beneficial, as it gives your eyes a break too (working on a computer for long periods of time is widely thought to cause eye strain and headaches).

4. Keep it up- When your break is finished, reset your timer for another 25 minutes and start working or revising again. Carry on doing 25 minutes of work and taking 5 minute breaks.

Then after your fourth session, take a longer break (around 20 or 30 minutes is recommended). This longer break is needed for your brain to assimilate new information and rest before the next round of sessions. Then continue with the series of work/study sessions and breaks until you’ve finished your day. 

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