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I love simple things. How about you?

Design may be complex in its underlying dimensions. Yet when it has that look and feel of simple elegance it comes across like poetry in motion…

When it comes to being more effective in my business, I am an advocate of intense blocks of focussed time.

Multi-tasking diminishes productivity. Using yourself as a testing ground try it out one day. Schedule nothing. Take on nine tasks for the day. Jump from one to the other. Get them all revved up at once and have nine multiple tasks to focus on at once.

The truth is that multi-tasking is a myth because you can only concentrate on one thing at a time. Someone may move from one task to another at lightning speed, yet it is still just.one.thing.at.a.time.

Even a juggler with four balls in the air is only juggling one ball at a time.

My Past Habit

I learned many years ago to focus on only one thing at a time. I list three main things each day to do. Three of the most important things.

Then I schedule three ninety-minute blocks of time that I called Power Blocks.

It has worked for me. The problem I have found as I looked at my actual habits is that is too long a block! And multiple distractions can impinge on those boundaries.

I recently learned a new technique called…

The Pomodoro Technique

Again, this is ridiculously simple…

So stupidly simple that you might overlook its elegance.

It is the brainchild of a man named Francesco Cirillo who developed this technique in the 1980s while a student in Italy.

He needed to focus on his studies one evening and was struggling. He took a tomato shaped timer (Pomodoro is tomato in Italian) from the kitchen and set it for 10 minutes. His hyper focus resulted in astounding results.

Here is the technique in modified form:

  1. Select one task to work on
  2. Set a timer for 25 minutes.
  3. Work until the timer rings.
  4. When the timer rings, take a five-minute break.
  5. Repeat
  6. After every 3 or 4 Pomodoros, take a 15-minute break.
How This Applies in Business

Ask yourself when your highest most natural productive energies emerge.

Are you a morning person, or afternoon person, or evening person?

Schedule your Pomodoros (cool word, isn’t it?) during your most productive time.

Eliminate all distractions. Turn off your notifications on your phone and computer. Do not look at emails.

Get focused on your one task.

Adapt it to Your Own Needs

Some parts of your day cannot (and should not be tightly scheduled). You may need to have open blocks of time to be available to react to specific problems that come up.

The beauty of the 25-minute block with a Pomodoro is that anyone can find one 25-minute block of time in the day!

Today I used the Pomodoro technique to get a report done for a Charity that I had been avoiding.

I went past the 25-minute block because I was almost done at the end of twenty-five minutes!

Frankly, I was shocked that I could get that much done in this brief time block.

Apply This to Business Meetings

A lot of business meetings go on far too long. Try setting a meeting for 25 minutes. Set a tight, achievable agenda.

If you need more time, you can take a 5-minute breaks and add twenty-five minutes.

It may seem odd, yet I will assert that I believe you will accomplish more in two 25-minute blocks than inside of one 60-minute block.

Also, the strange timing of twenty-five minutes versus thirty or sixty minutes will put people on alert that everyone needs to focus to get things done.

In Closing

I used the Pomodoro technique for this blog, and it took just one Pomodoro plus an extra 3 minutes!

To read more about this elegant technique, please click here:


Thank you for reading…