Effective planning using the Pomodoro Technique and The Results Curve

 Take control of your projects with the Pomodoro Technique & Results Curve method.

Pomodoro Technique and Results Curve

There are many techniques that can be used to help plan your workload, some of which have been around for many years. The Pomodoro Technique and The Results Curve are two new techniques that you can use to help plan your workload and improve your productivity. Both techniques aim to split your day into smaller chunks, enabling you to complete more tasks and improve performance.

Originally invented by Francesco Cirillo in 1992, the Pomodoro Technique consists of the following basic steps; select a task, set a Pomodoro to 25 minutes (the Pomodoro is a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato, but any timer will do), work on the task until the timer rings and then take a break of up to 5 minutes. After 4 25-minute Pomodoro sessions, take a longer break. If you spend the first Pomodoro of the day to plan out your days activities based on the tasks that need doing and allocate a number of Pomodoro sessions to each task depending on the estimated time to complete it. At the end of each Pomodoro, stop working on it. If you finish before the end of the Pomodoro, use the remaining time to refine your work. As you become more experienced with the Pomodoro Technique, you will become better skilled at determining the time required to complete regular tasks enabling you to plan your day better, thus improving your productivity.

The Results Curve, invented by Pierre Khawand, is a technique based on Khawand’s theory that slightly longer 40 minute segments of focused activity are more effective than the shorter periods suggested by the Pomodoro Technique. Khawand’s research suggests after 30 minutes of effort your mind is in gear and another 10 minutes of focus produces significant results. Each activity segment is started by noting down the three to six sub-tasks that you wish to accomplish within that session. It is suggested that during the session, all attempts at communication should be ignored, but then follow each session with a period of collaboration time when you catch up with colleagues, and any phone calls/emails that have arrived.

Both of these techniques split the workday into specific periods of time allocated to tasks. By using tasks lists you can determine which tasks need to be completed and you can then prioritize those according to deadlines or other demands. There are many tools available for collating task lists, but most email clients, such as Outlook and Gmail also include tasks scheduling tools. Seeing as email is the most common business communication method, these tools allow the creation of a task from any incoming email, as well as creating new ones for tasks that don’t use email – there is now no excuse for missing an important deadline.

With these time management methods, you can effectively complete tasks at the intended time and be more productive. As you are refining your workflow using task lists, you can also clean up your Outlook, Mac, Gmail or Google Apps address books by removing duplicate contacts using the Scrubly duplicate contact remover tool. You can scan your contacts free by visiting http://www.scrubly.com

 

Pomodoro technique is wonderful for the individual however up next we will cover: “10 Simple Exercises to Increase Teamwork and Productivity in the Workplace”

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  • Cédric Bourgeois

    Hi Bob! I knew about Pomodoro, but it’s the first time I hear about the result curve, which seems to make much sense. When practicing Pomodoro, I agree that the recommended 25 minutes were looking short.
    For tasks management, I am also a user of the TROGbar, which is more related to Getting Things Done technique. This tool greatly enhances the tasks management in outlook. Actually via a sidebar, not within outlook.
    Finally, I started developing an outlook add-in named Koomato, that implements the Pomodoro technique. As of today, it’s only a timer, but I intend to use outlook tasks and meetings for a better Pomodoro usage. Also, given what i just learned from your post, it seems appropriate to plan something for the result curve.
    Thanks!

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