Today marks two weeks of my journey trying new method to boost my productivity. For several years, I am an avid fan of procrastination which I am still now. This has bring me a lot of troubles such as projects are off-schedule, self development postponed, and working on assignments at the last minute. I have tried several productivity techniques and sadly say, none of them show significant effect. One of the popular technique that I used is Pomodoro technique. For you guys that never heard about Pomodoro, I suggest to click the link provided. For you guys that are too lazy to click the link, here is the deinition of Pomodoro that I grabbed from the website :
It is a time management method created by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s that helps you accomplish what you want to do by transforming time into a valuable ally. Why is it so popular? Because it is easy to use, and most of all, because it works!
Basically the Pomodoro technique tells you to pick a task, working on it under certain time limit ( usually 25 minutes ), take a break for 5 minutes and repeat the same process again. Each cycle is what called Pomodoro, after you have finished 4 Pomodoro, you are allowed to take longer break ( 30 minutes ).
From my personal experience, it is a good technique but you need huge amount of self discipline. People with lack of self discipline tend to lose their focus in the middle of Pomodoro. Most of the time I am only able to do 2 perfect Pomodoro without any distractions, sometimes even less. After that usually I am end up watching Youtube, checking Facebook or even playing games.
I am a type of person that definitely lack of self discipline. I can force and motivate myself to finish a work if there is someone watching my back, for example working in an office environment where you have colleagues monitoring what you are doing. However, one month ago I was trying find a new way to solve this problem because I am on Uni holiday and close to Christmas holiday.
My first choice to find solution is Lifehacker website. It is one of the popular websites that provides information to boost your productivity in simple ways ( sometimes ). However, because it has lot of articles, most of the time you find it hard to find article that suit your problem.
After trying various keywords to help me find article that match my problem, I decided to give up and looking for books instead. Luckily it’s not that difficult because as soon as I typed ‘lifehacker’ in Amazon, it comes up with this book ( Lifehacker: The Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, and Better ). The book basically contains the same articles from the website but the good part is all the articles has been grouped into relevant chapter for easier search and read.
I’ll suggest you skip most of the chapters in the book and only focus on the chapters that can solve your problem. In my case, I am only focus on these topics :
- Make your To-Do List Doable. Based on this article.
- Set Up a Morning Dash.
- Dash through tasks with a timer.
- Limit visits to Time-Wasting websites.
Out of those 4 topics, my favourite is number one. To-do list is a must have thing in my daily life. Not only it is useful to remind you what to do, but it also useful as a planning tool. Unfortunately, for the past few years I have done a simple mistake and made most of my to-do items in my list untouched. The mistake is simply on the way I write the todo items.
Before I read this article, I tend to put things such as “Redesign personal website”, “Working on project A”, and “Working on project B” in my todo list. According to the article, these type of tasks cannot be called tasks but projects. Tasks are more descriptive and can be done in short time. So if we pick redesign personal website project, some examples of the tasks are create the sitemap or create the home screen wire frame based on sitemap.
The first time I tried this approach, I am little bit sceptical. But believe it or not, I am find it easier to focus on my tasks when I write clearer task. The problem with unclear task are you will spend time to figure what to do and the chances that it will affect your motivation is higher.
I think that’s all for this article, I’ll try share my experience in the next article.