When I posted a copy of my first Pomodoro Technique worksheet on our Facebook page moms were instantly in love. I’ll bet you wonder wonder where all your time goes, too. I mean, we all have the same 24 hours yet yours… mine… seems to evaporate more quickly than other people’s. In an effort to get a better grip on my time I have been watching all kinds of videos, reading books, and attending webinars on time management.
Which is funny because, ya know, that takes time to do.
The best thing I found was this thing called Pomodoro Time Management. Some Italian guy named it after a tomato. There’s all kind of info about it online and on his website. The idea is that your brain can only work for 25 minutes straight. Then it needs a short break. After doing that four times it really needs a break so you take more time to rest.
Once he started tracking his time that way he found that he could get a ton of stuff done during the day. He found that his brain worked harder during those 25 minutes because it knew a break was coming.
Before I could even start scheduling stuff I had to know exactly where I was spending my time anyway. I made a simple spreadsheet and tracked my entire week.
That was mind blowing. My plan was always to work on my blog. But before I could do that I had to make sure Jordan had his lessons in order. That’s when I discovered he wasn’t doing them the way I had planned.
Yeah, a blog post about that is in the works. Ahem.
At the end of the week I could see where I was goofing off a lot (Facebook, thou foul friend), what my state of mind was, and where I was kidding myself about how long things really take. I spend a lot of time preparing dinner. This isn’t a 4 star hotel, the boys don’t care what I feed them as long as it’s hot, and there isn’t as much time to cook as I thought.
If you’ve seen my Facebook Live posts you’ve seen my office and how I color code the 6 areas of my life.
It was a “Come To Jesus” moment; a time to get real with myself. Adulting is hard. I’ll get the hang of it sooner or later.
Maybe next year when I turn 53.
Here is how Pomodoro works for personal use.
You can use this a lot of different ways. Start by filling out where you want to spend your time, set alarms on your smart phone, input events into your Google calendar, and tweak from there.
You can also make a copy for everyone in your family. You can do what I did, print out a copy and track what you actually do during the week. Then tweak it. Whatever floats your boat. I just knew that I had to be able to see all the things I need to get done and schedule them ahead of time.
Again, it is amazing how much time I don’t have, how long things really do take to do. Once you see it all in one place your reality gets clearer.
Print a few for dear old dad to use for work, too. Binding them in a notebook would be an awesome Father’s Day present.
You can use Pomodoro for Homeschooling, too.
Ever hear of Parkinson’s Law? It has come to mean that work expands to fill the time allotted for it. If you give your kid a math assignment and tell them to do it but don’t tell them how long they have to complete by setting a timer it will take them all day long. Here’s another thing I learned from homeschooling a kid with ADHD. It is OK for a lesson to take more than one, or two, or three days to complete. Some days Logan could only do one problem, other days he could do 5.
The goal was to do MESH every single day. That stands for Math, English, Science, and History. We would do math for 15 minutes, do jumping jacks, then language arts for 15 minutes, play with the dog, then science, watch an educational YouTube video, then history, and circle back until it was 3pm. What got done got done and what didn’t waited until tomorrow.
This Pomodoro method has a built-in breathing space but is more consistent than my DIY method. You know that if you work hard for 25 minutes you will get a 5 minute break to use however the child wishes. If you do 4 of those 25 minute work periods you get a longer break. Notice on the worksheet that lunch is the longest break.
I didn’t do a schedule for after 5:20 because dinner, and family time, happen. Enjoy it! You worked hard for it.
How will you use this worksheet? I cannot wait to hear about it. Do me a favor and add a comment on our Facebook page about it. You can also private message me through the page if you would prefer. Sounds fair enough? Awesome!
PRINT THE THING HERE… Well, first you have to download the PDF to your computer.CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD
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Then make sure you have enough color ink. This is better in color.
Notice, I did not make you sign up for my newsletter first. That’s only because I don’t have time to futz with the code. That may change in the future, though. This whole Pomodoro technique is making me change my ways, ya know.