Get More Done in Less Time
Do you know this feeling when you are about to go to bed when you suddenly realize that you didn’t get anything done today? If you know this moment when the day is over and you know exactly
Procrastination and inefficient working are the two main reasons why I don’t get done what I would like to get done. You can handle procrastination easy with a little bit of willpower. Procrastination is not a real problem for me anymore. The problem until recently was more that I worked a lot, sometimes more than 10 hours a day, but I never had the feeling that I am moving forward. At the end of the day, I knew exactly that I could have achieved much more in less time if I just worked more efficiently while setting my priorities straight. I started to do some research on this topic. You and I, we are not the only ones with this problem. There are thousands of people who would like to work more efficiently. While I read a few books and articles about it I discovered two amazing techniques which helped me to achieve much more in less time.
Technique One – Set Your Priorities Straight
Right after waking up I am writing down my top 3 tasks which will bring me a step further toward the achievement of my goal. These three tasks will be on top of my todo list until they are done. If these tasks are too large so that I cannot achieve them in a single day, I create subtasks for each larger tasks which I prioritize again. With this technique, I can start every day with 100% focus. The most important tasks, which I also call my BIG3 are my priority number one throughout the whole day. I will not start working on minor tasks unless all three BIG3’s have been accomplished.
Technique Two – Use a Pomodoro Timer
The second most valuable technique I found is called Pomodore. This technique works basically like this:
1) Work for 25 minutes on a Task (e.g. your BIG3)
2) After 25 Minutes have a short break of 5 minutes (get some fresh air)
3) Continue working for another 25 minutes (e.g. your BIG3 until done)
4) Have again a short 5-minute break (have a tea or an apple)
5) Work again for 25 minutes
6) Have a big 15-minute break
7) Start from (1) again
It might sound like you are only having breaks which seem like interruptions to you. After I tried this technique I will never stop using it. During all 25-minute blocks of focused work, you should avoid any disruption. Put your phone into flight mode, log out of every social media, mute your emails, etc. This allows you to work unbelievably focussed on your task. I would say that I get in these 25 minutes blocks as much done as I otherwise would in 60 minutes of usual work. During the 5 minute breaks I usually check my messages if I have an urge to do so, I drink a tea, some fruits, or I get some fresh air for a few minutes. I use the 15-minute breaks to have a small meal. All in all, I highly recommend this technique to everyone!
The best Pomodore Timer
You don’t necessarily need a Pomodore timer but I like to use one. If you want to test this technique simply set the timer of your phone or an egg timer to 25 minutes for work blocks or 5/15 minutes for break blocks. Nevertheless, I would recommend using a Pomodore timer as there are many great apps out there.
The app I am using is called Pomotodo it is combining a todo list with a Pomodore timer. I like Pomotodo because it has a simple and great user interface and it is available for all platforms (Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux, Web, Chrome).
I even subscribed to the Pro version of Pomotodo because it allows me prioritize certain tasks and to create subtasks – exactly what I explained in Technique 1.
If you have struggled with focussed work try out prioritize your todo tasks and work with a Pomodore timer. It worked for me.
Let me know how you stay focussed on your most important tasks in the comments, I will join the discussion!