If you’re like me you want to get more done in less time. The problem is having the extra time to work on your side hustle can be a rarity.
Now I’ve talked about different things you can do to help find more time in the day (click here to read that article) but in this article I’m going to show you a technique I’ve recently started using to help me get more done with the time I do have.
I often tell people who are just getting started to find a minimum of a half hour a day. Even with that little bit of time you can still get a lot done and if you follow the technique I’m going to lay out in front of you here you’ll likely get more done.
So what is this technique you might be wondering.
What is the Pomodoro Technique
Here is a basic definition of what the Pomodoro Technique is…
Pomodoro Technique – Is a simple and effective way to improve your work and study habits, by breaking task down into 25 minute periods and then taking a 5 minute break. To learn more check the video out here.
Over the last several years of running various side hustles I’ve found a big problem that I seem to constantly be battling and that is being consistent with my work habits.
This lead me to look for a system that would give some structure to help me get more done in the small amount time that I have. After doing some searching on Google and talking to others I came across the Pomodoro Technique.
The great thing about this technique is that it helps you break things down into smaller more manageable task to help you get more done. This way you don’t have to focus on everything all at once.
So if you are someone who has very little time to put towards your side hustle, or if you are having trouble focusing for longer periods of time on something, then this can be a great solution.
What I like About the Pomodoro Technique
Now before I jump into how the Pomodoro Technique works I want to share just a few reasons why I like this system.
If you find that you are looking to improve certain areas of your side hustle these reasons might be all the more to try this technique out.
- You only have to focus on 1 thing at a time. First when you use the Pomodoro Technique it forces you to focus on just one activity at a time. I had this issue a lot when I would work on stuff I would fall into the trap of doing multiply things at once and this technique definitely helps relieve that.
- Eliminates distractions. Second it’s helping me eliminate all the distraction when I work on stuff. It can be really easy to get caught up on things like Facebook, email, and even Periscope these days. When you use the Pomodoro method you eliminate it.
- Gets rid of overwhelm. I also like this method because it has helped me eliminate overwhelm. I talked about overwhelm in this post here by keeping me on focus to the few things I need to get done that day versus trying to focus everything all at once.
- You only have to focus for 25 minutes. The part I like the most about this method is that I only have to focus for 25 minutes and that’s a lot easier than trying to do it for 3 hours.
- Allows you to recharge your battery. What’s also great is that this technique gives you permission to take a break and often times I would feel guilty when I would take a break because I would have so much to get done. With this method the breaks are all worked in.
- Kills burnout. This method all helps curb burnout as well. Often times when I would work on something I would spend so much time on things that I’d eventually burnout. With Pomodoro you only have so much time to work on something so you don’t waste to much time which can make you fatigued and tired and cause burnout.
- Allows me to spend more time with my family. Finally, the last reason I like this method so much is that it allows me to spend more time with my family. As you can tell I love my family and the last thing I want my side hustle to do is take all my time away from them. With the Pomodoro Technique you define the time blocks you need to work and no more.
How The Pomodoro Technique Works
Below is a basic overview of how the Pomodoro technique works and how you can implement it in your own life.
#1 Choose a Task You’d like to get Done
First choose the task you want to get done. You should be able to complete the task in at least 25 minutes. If you can’t then you may need to break it down to small bit size task.
I struggled with this a bit in the beginning because I wasn’t sure how long certain task would take me but over time I’m starting to get a better idea of what I can do in 25 minutes and what I can’t.
#2 Set a Timer for 25 Minutes
Step 2 is to set a timer for a 25 minute period. Now you might be wondering why do you need to set a timer, can’t I just watch the clock and I can say I’ve tired it both ways and I’ve found that when I set a timer it feels like I have a deadline.
It’s kind like taking time test when I was back in grade school. I can remember taking math time test in school and we only had a minute to complete all the questions. Doing this forced us to focus for a specific period and get stuff done.
Doing this while you work on your side hustle does exactly the same thing, it forces you to focus on your work.
#3 Work the Task Until the Timer Rings
Once the timer is going it’s important that you keep working right up to the point the timer goes off. I should also mention you’ll want to eliminate any and all distractions while you are working.
This can be everything from checking email, to reading Facebook updates. I also usually don’t do this until my kids go to bed either. Yes I’m saying it, your kids can be a distraction and this is why I wait till they go to bed to do any important work.
#4 When the Timer Rings Check the Task Off of Your List
Once your timer goes off the first thing you’ll want to do is check off the task you just completed.
Doing this will give you closure to the task and you’ll have that sense of gratification knowing that you are moving forward in your business and getting stuff done.
#5 Take a Short Break
Now that your 25 minute work sprint is done it’s time to take a small break. My breaks last usually 5 minutes which gives me enough time to refill my coffee and rest before I head back into my next sprint.
You might be wonder why you need to take a break and that is because is a vitally important part to getting stuff done over a longer period of time. If you were to sit down and work on something for 5 hours straight I’m betting you’d be pretty tired by the end of it.
However when you take these short breaks in between each sprint you’ll be re-energizing your internal battery which will help to keep you focused for longer periods of time.
#6 Every 4 Pomodoros Take a Longer Break
The sixth and final step is after every 4 Pomodoro sprints that you take a longer break. Four Pomodoros will take you roughly 2 hours to complete. Once you complete that cycle of four you’ll want to take a longer break.
I usually reset me timer and just take a 25 minute break to give myself the rest before I head back into another sprint.
Take The Challenge
Now as I wrap this article up I want to say that I’m not perfect at this yet and that I’m still trying to implement this system into my daily life. To be honest this isn’t a system that you can just implement in a day, it takes time to get things organized and started.
My suggestion is to start slow and implement one or two of these in your day at first and as you grow more comfortable using this system you can increase how many of them you want to do.
In my case I started doing two of these a day, four days a week. So that two 25 minutes sprints with a 5 minute break back to back. For you that might be just doing one a day and that’s fine. The thing I find is that you just have to start somewhere.
So I have a challenge for you. I want to know what kind of results you get from running the Pomodoro Technique.
I challenge you to try the Pomodoro Technique for 1 week and I want to hear about the results you get in the comments below. Did you get more done, less done, or the same amount as before.
I also want you to share the details of what it improved for you and what it didn’t help you improve. So give challenge a shot and let the community know.