Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Time Management or How to Get it All Done

Do you remember those summer days as a kid that seemed to last forever and forever?

These last few months, I've been watching my kiddo do that miraculous kind of time travel. Between dawn and dusk she has an endless supply of minutes for adventuring and play dates and getting into amazing, fabulous summer trouble.

Me? I'm up two hours before her and go to bed three hours after, and there's so much to do, and I. Just. Can't. Find. The. Time.

I've read all that stuff about prioritizing, and making lists and blah, blah, blah. For me, I can do all that, but actually implementation?

Enter Pomodoro.

Isn't it cute?
Okay, you've probably all heard of it.

Pomodoro is a method of working on something for 25 minutes with a timer (preferably one shaped like a tomato since Pomodoro means tomato in Italian). In a pinch, there are about a ton of countdown timers online you can use.

Anyway, after working for 25 minutes, you take a five minute break and then back at it onto your next Pomodoro.

So, a little math. Assuming you sleep for 8 hours (ha!), there are sixteen hours in a day. If you use the Pomodoro method of 25 + 5 minute blocks, you have 32 Pomodoros a day.

What it the world can you do with that?

  • Force yourself to focus on writing - you can stay off Facebook or FreeCell for a measly 25 minutes, can't you?

  • Clean something (I actually ran into a  similar idea on the fabulous Fly Lady site years ago - clean/sort for 15 minutes then spend 10 putting away what you cleaned/sorted - love FlyLady.)

  • Work on a project that's really, really hard for you - in a short 25 minutes it will be over!

  • Couch to 5k (Okay, maybe a little over a Pomodoro, but not by much.)

  • Write a blog post.

  • Have an endless summer moment with your kiddo.

You can't do it all. But you can do some of it.
What would you do with 25 minutes?



  1. Aw man, I really struggle with short blocks of time. With kids' schedules it seems like there's always not *quite* enough time between appointments to get to the store or clean the shower, and then I end up wasting the time I've got. I've never been able to keep up with FlyLady but I learned a lot from her and my favorite is: My timer is my best friend! And you can do anything for 15 minutes - or 25 :)

    I have to say that if I could write a blog post in 25 minutes I guarantee I'd still be contributing here :D And I still haven't gotten cooking dinner down to a Pomodoro on most days, though I'm working on it. But no matter how short a block of time I have it is almost always enough to fold and put away laundry, and there is ALWAYS laundry.

    1. So true about the laundry. And the dishes.
      And I agree, FlyLady can be overwhelming, but she did teach me structure and the daily/weekly routines that we creative types often just don't get. :)

      p.s. We love hearing from you - whenever and however you can manage it.

  2. I love this idea. Will implement it immediately. Thanks Susan!!

  3. I just decluttered my family room using this method. It was amazing. It's that beeper at the 15 minute mark that is really genius. I might declutter my whole house 25 minutes at a time.

    1. I know! I just had to gut my boys room, and the only thing that kept me going was thinking - 'it's only 15 minutes, it's only 15 minutes.'

      And after a few of those you start to realize how much you got done in 15 minutes and you start to wonder if fretting about cleaning is the problem, not the actual cleaning. :)


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