If you haven’t heard of Pomodoro Technique then do read about it. It’s a time budgeting technique in which you set a time limit for a particular task. When the time is up you abandon doing it whether the task is completed or not.
After learning about time budgeting I found it extremely helpful to enhance my productivity. When you do time boxing you don’t dilly dally things and are bound to focus on the task at hand. The ticking clock reminds you of the task to be completed everytime your mind gets distracted. It increases your focus manyfolds.
When you set a time limit to a given task your brain automatically becomes active to complete it before the time runs out. It becomes less of a work and more of a game. You start enjoying doing the task even if it is boring. Most of the times it is important to remember that in order to complete the task the quality shouldn’t be compromised. A completed task with lower than the benchmark quality is of no or little use. Imagine cooking a dish with in an hour but it tastes horrible. Your time and energy is wasted for no good.
Time boxing helps to get things done. When you perform a boring task you know the time until when you have to suffer. Once the time is over your suffering gets over too.
When you allot time you should keep in mind that the deadline is realistic. As per the Parito’s Principle a task can be elongated or contracted as per your wish. But that’s not completely true. You can’t eat your dinner in just one minute nor are you insane enough to take two hours to iron your shirt. We all know the estimated time a task could take especially if it is a regular task or the task which is quite familiar to us.
While doing the regular chores it is the best way to finish them off one by one without wasting time. Through this you can save a lot of time which otherwise could be lost to innumerable distractions. This practice makes you efficient over the course of time. You become an expert and your time intake reduces drastically.
Time boxing isn’t only for work but for entertainment too so that you don’t spend too much time on the activities you love to do. Yes it is a psychological fact that the tasks you enjoy consumes a lot of time in ‘no time’. Time flies by so quickly that you never realise where the hours went by. When this happens a lot of important tasks remain undone for the day.
With practice you will learn how to budget your time. It works on a trial and error basis. The more mistakes you make the more you learn. For everyone it works differently. What works for me might not be suitable for you. So it is better not to copy others. Make a daily schedule and allot time slot to each and every activity individually. Don’t group a bunch of activities together and set a bigger time limit. It doesn’t work so efficiently because one task somehow always overpowers the others.
If a task is too big then divide it into small chunks and set a time frame to each piece of work. It’s always easy to pay in installments than in lump sum(no burgeoning interest involves here). If a big task is not necessary to be done immediately then do it in small time frames bit by bit. Once done a single part you can return to the task the following day.
Time budgeting reduces a lot of stress. It stops you from getting overwhelmed as it encourages you to completely focus on a single task until the time is up. You don’t think about the long ‘to do list’ all the time nor a particular task nags you from time to time because you know it will be done when its chance comes. It saves you a lot of time and energy from deciding what to do and what not. When you set time limits to the tasks at hand your brain automatically organizes them into a linear series. It stops you from multi tasking which is a proven enemy to your peace of mind and concentration.
When you set time pockets remember not to fill all your waking hours with just work. If you do so soon you’ll feel burn out. To make this technique work in the long run remember to fill some time slots for entertainment, family and friends too. ‘Me time’ is a must. Spend some quality time with yourself too. The aim of time budgeting is to make you more productive in absence of stress.
Time budgeting works in every sphere of life and for every gender and age group. No matter what you are you can always reap benefits from it. It works equally well for a student, a housewife, a professional and even a retired. It makes you habitual to a routine. Our body and mind works extremely well and efficiently when it gets into habit of doing the same things at the same time.
Try it for a few days consistently and you’ll be surprised at how much you could accomplish in a day. It will make you feel so organized and disciplined. Sense of accomplishment at the end of the day is the sweetest reward one could get.