mnmlist: Time for tomatoes
Ask the NHS, ask a teacher or ask anyone in business. They’ll tell you the mantra is: if it moves, measure it and if it doesn’t move, measure it anyway.
There is a reason for this- measurement changes behaviour.
A great example of measurement changing my behaviour recently is a really simple method of measuring productivity and in turn increasing focus and concentration.
The Pomodoro Technique involves breaking time spent completing tasks into 25 minute chunks followed by a 5 minute break. You decide what you’re going to focus on and give it your undivided attention until the time is up. Then you start again, including longer breaks as you do more pomodoros.
The nature of my job has always meant that time has been chunked up for me. Now that I have more days a year where I need to complete work that doesn’t come pre-chunked, this is where the tomato timer has really helped. The excellent Omnifocus is my chosen task manager but it doesn’t help me do my tasks, it just helps me manage them. I have particular problems with longer items on my task list (for example I’m writing a book) and these are important but never get to the top of the list. Now any good GTDer will tell you that I need to be specific about which element of my book I need to complete but often it’s not as simple as that. So, allocating two or three pomodoros to writing is a great way to help me move this big project forward.
All that’s needed is a timer that will do 25 minutes and 5 minutes but I use a lovely little free app for Mac OS X. There are also free versions available at the App Store. Anyway, I’m signing off now as I’m into the 24th minu