Recommended Reading: The Pomodoro Technique by Francesco Cirillo
Time is a great equaliser
It’s the same for all of us. 24 hours for you is the same as 24 hours for me.
No 24-hour period is longer for one person or shorter for another.
It’s how we choose to fill those 24 hours that changes from one person to the next.
This differentiator is significant.
It explains how one person can change the lives of millions while another can spend a lifetime and barely change themselves.
Learning the hard way
When I left full-time employment to launch my business I discovered my time management was abysmal.
Through schooling and employment I'd become great at following a schedule.
But it was usually someone else’s schedule.
Little thought was required to figure out when work started and ended. The allotment of time in between was largely decided for me.
Jobs advertising for people who could “work independently” and were “self-starters” were little different, there were always clear boundaries and expectations.
If I was going to get anything meaningful done, I had to first know where my time was going.
Enter the kitchen timer
The Pomodoro Technique conceived by Francesco Cirillo was a huge discovery for me.
Simple and quick to learn, The Pomodoro Technique is both elegant and highly impactful.
With a pencil, a piece of paper and a kitchen timer your working hours are given structure and definition.
You are tasked to break all your work down into a series of 25 minute blocks, forcing you to consider how your time can be best spent, and shining a light on time-sinks.
That’s where the time went!
Once you're using a method like the Pomodoro technique, you have the answer to the question.
You know exactly where the time goes. What's more, upon review, you know if it was time well spent.
It becomes as easy as flicking back through a few sheets of paper.
Understanding how you allocate your time is incredibly empowering. Bad habits, low productivity times of day, laborious tasks – they are all quickly and easily quantified.
Make measuring your time the first step towards better managing your time.