Guide to being productive v.1

Before we even start this :

Go  here  and start the timer and then watch this video on what is Pomodoro Method

Why is it effective?

 

WHY POMODORO?

The Pomodoro Technique isn’t like any other time-management method on the market today. What makes it so unique?

1. WORK WITH TIME – NOT AGAINST IT

For many people, time is an enemy. We race against the clock to finish assignments and meet deadlines. The Pomodoro Technique teaches you to work with time, instead of struggling against it. A revolutionary time management system, it is at once deceptively simple to learn and life-changing to use.

2. ELIMINATE BURNOUT

Essential to the Pomodoro Technique is the notion that taking short, scheduled breaks while working eliminates the “running on fumes” feeling you get when you’ve pushed yourself too hard. It’s impossible to over work when you stick to the system. You may end up taking fewer sick days, too!

3. MANAGE DISTRACTIONS

Whether it’s a call, a Facebook message, or suddenly realizing you need to change the oil in your car, many distracting thoughts and events come up when you’re at work. The Pomodoro Technique will help you log your distractions and order them according to priority levels. Often, they can wait.

4. CREATE A BETTER WORK / LIFE BALANCE

Most of us are intimately acquainted with the guilt that comes from procrastinating. If we haven’t had a productive day, it’s pretty easy to end up feeling like we can’t enjoy our free time. Becoming a Pomodoro Master involves creating an effective timetable, allowing you to truly enjoy your time off.

 

Everything that will be discussed in this article will have a Pomodoro technique involved so I suggest you start reading this article using the technique you just saw in the Pomodoro video above.

 

Now that the foundation has been laid down for being focused, we will now focus on organizing our entire day using a solid method that correlates to each other and causes a domino effect as soon as we start right. You don’t start the day using the Pomodoro technique none of the techniques that I am about to share will work. They all are correlated with each other.

 

  • Idea Capture :

Take out a fresh notebook (people who are still emotionally attached to the pen & paper) and do the steps that the following app does manually in your notebook.

or

Download Handle  (for App nerds) Recommended * because Tech  guys are really putting a lot of thought in making our lives  better, so let’s view them with an open mind and trust that it works.

 

So now with Handle we have our to-dos set up, Email Management and Calendar.

Collect all your to-do lists, post-its, scribbles, iPhone notes etc. and add all these tasks to Handle to-dos. Do not assign any end dates or reminders to it yet.

Now we will start with assigning only one task at a time and setting the reminder to “Today.” This way we can get it done before you even think about doing anything else using the POMODORO method, as well as assigning how many POMODORO will be required to do the task. You can drag and drop the task to Calendar in Handle to better track how long it will take to accomplish the task.

Distraction sheet:

Always have a distraction sheet on your table. Every time I catch myself getting distracted I write down what distracted me. If the same thing distracts you every time, keep writing it again and again. The purpose of this tool is to simply make you more aware of what’s distracting you the most. Trust the process.

 

Emails:

Emails can be a big pile up and can cause a lot of stress for some of us. Gmail is the most organized tool for me with all my experience in email management, so if you do not have Gmail, I think it’s time you get one. Also, get the “Inbox” app from Gmail or you can access it by going here.

 

We’ve taken care of email reminders on Handle, so to prep for email management, go through all the emails that you need to read and cannot afford to ignore, and set them as ‘reminders’ using the handle plugin on your Gmail screen. You can do that by opening the email that is important to you and pressing “+” to make a new to-do, and Handle will then automatically attach that email  to your to-do task.

Now it’s time to take the plunge after you’ve taken care of all the important emails in Handle. You open your Inbox app and click on the double checkmark to ‘archive all’ and start your inbox all over again.

From here on ‘Inbox’ becomes your primary way to deal with emails.

Every morning you spend 25 minutes (first 25 minutes Pomodoro allocated for emails) going through your emails, and every email needs an action. Either you can set a reminder for later, archive it, or add it to a bundle. This way you always stay on top of it.

Second Pomodoro for emails is the last thing you do right before you do your night prep.

 

A bit more insight on how to handle emails:

Using Siri to set up appointments:

Maintaining Lists:

I use the Reminder app on my iPhone to keep track of all my lists. Here is an example:

You can also use Evernote.

Evernote lets me manage all important physical documents and papers. This can be really stressful. It was a game changer for me when I found out I can connect my scanner to Evernote. From there on out, all my documents live in Evernote, and so do all my business cards.

Tools you need to set up Evernote:

  • Free Evernote account
  • Evernote scanner app to click pictures and send it to Evernote
  • or an easy scanner -> Evernote setup

 

Fuel you need to stay productive:

  • 7 hours of Sleep – If this is not accomplished, chances are you might fail so do whatever it takes to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. If you can, manage 6 hours and somehow fit in an hour nap into your day.
  • 10 minutes of Meditation – See below for detailed explanation. This is a very important step to train your ‘focus muscle’ to be able to sustain this productivity model.
  • 10 – 60 minutes Gym time – People often forget the benefits of working out in terms of mental health; another strong factor for sustaining this model.

Distractions:

  • Phone
  • Facebook
  • Tinder
  • Texting
  • Emails – unrelated

You will have no access to these till the task is done. Period!

 

Pre-night Prep:

This whole model starts the night before, and here are the steps that you need to take in order to launch this model:

  • Set an Alarm to the time you want to wake up
  • Move only one task for tomorrow in Handle app and calculate required Pomodoros
  • Put your phone on ‘silent’ mode
  • Sleep

 

 

Meditation – making your muscle stronger to focus

https://www.headspace.com/

 

 

Now that we have laid down the foundation, let’s see how all this will come together:

 

Step 1: Have a start time for your day to be super productive and wake up (on time)

Step 2: Start with 10 minutes of meditation

Step 3: Check email with the first Pomodoro assigned for emails

Step 3: Have a physical trigger for when your body knows it’s in complete focus. I do that by wearing headphones with no music on. You can try other techniques like taking off your watch, having a specific light on, etc.

Step 4: Start with your only task on Handle app using Pomodoros

Step 5:  Handle second part of your email during lunch or before bed (preferential)

Step 6: Set up one important task the night before on Handle and set your wake up time

Step 7: Reflect on everything that you accomplished today and sleep well 🙂

 

For more suggestion or questions :

 

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