From the moment you entered grade school, you’ve been told how important it is to be organized. Later, your teachers added a task and told you that being organized also meant knowing how to manage your time. Learning time management is such an important part of learning how to function successfully in life, and it is difficult for everyone. But, from the outside, most people make it look so easy. It seems like they don’t juggle half as many things as you ― they go to work or school only, they don’t have multiple doctor appointments a week or therapies they attend.
I have been interested in time management for the better part of the past five years. Trying to accomplish any goal while battling an illness or multiple illnesses is not for the faint of heart and every second counts. I have tried so many things, from GTD brain dumping techniques, living a strictly digital life, paper to-do lists, creating a daily schedule for myself ― and all left me feeling defeated.
I started back at square one. I found during all of this trial-and-error period that I liked paper planning and writing down things. I also knew that I liked apps. Armed with this in mind, I struck gold when I discovered the Pomodoro Technique. The Pomodoro Technique is a time management system that promotes working in blocks of time for 25 minutes with five-minute breaks in between each 25-minute session. If you complete four 25-minute sessions, you break for 20 minutes.
That’s it: Focus on one task only for 25 minutes and be rewarded with a five-minute break; do this three more times and reward yourself with a 20-minute break. I use this system for everything! It was the answer to my prayers when it came to burning out. Knowing that I have to focus only on one thing for such a short amount of time makes both my anxiety and the task at hand more manageable. As a result, I am able to do more.
You know which times of day you’re the sharpest, you know when you have the most energy, and you when you are bound to crash. And the Pomodoro Technique can help you manage those waves.
There are quite a few apps that work in this manner. But all you really need is a timer. Pro tip: Select “Stop Playing” under the timer settings in your phone’s clock app and you can listen to music for 25 minutes while you do chores around the house!
Note: Cerebral Palsy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cerebral Palsy News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cerebral palsy.