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getting stuff done

This week I have had a few conversations with creatives about task management and effective planning. (I have probably lost half of you already)

Most people I know (who are overtly creative) struggle with time management, especially those who are creative entrepreneurs who work full time or mummy 24/7.

It is so funny, in this season when people ask me what I do, I tell them ‘I’m a stay at home mum and more?’. It is always said with a smirk and a smile.

The reality is, I have all the time in the world but it is broken into small segments. Between toilet training, climbing practice, toy smashing and food championship throwing, I am running a business, a key leader in a women’s network, on the board of a creative enterprise, always writing a new book in my mind, big sister, speaker, collaborator, husband cheerleader, head chef and consultant in creativity.

I need tools for time management. I mostly use my emails to set my task lists but as my consulting business grows and more networks are created, this is not working for my new season.

I recently read an article about a time management technique called ‘POMODORO’. It was designed in the 1980’s by a man called Francesco Cirillo. You can read more about this technique here: Pomodoro Technique

It is actually quite simple and I have found it lately really effective.

Here is my modern mummy take on it:

1) Turn your phone onto silent or flight mode

2) write a list of what needs to be accomplished: tool one

3) Set your timer 25 mins (a kitchen timer, your iPhone or download an pomodoro app)

4) Close down all social media applications or windows or apps.

5) Close down your email. (mum’s put your children to bed, close the door and turn your music up.)

6) Start your timer and start task one.

7) After 25 mins, have a 5 min break. Go get a coffee, a glass of water, chat to a friend, flick onto a website/ social media something for 5 MINS ONLY!!!

8) Go to task two. Start 25 min timer again.

9) repeat 7 & 8 two more times.

The Pomodoro Technique from Pomodoro Master on Vimeo.

You will be so surprised at how much you can get done in two hours. If you work in an office setting. Block out two hours in your diary and do this process and you will be astounded at how fresh your work space will be and what you will achieve.

I have made a downloadable task managment sheet here: get stuff done

Screen Shot 2013-08-25 at 11.13.01 AM

This will also help you define what you need to do in a couple of hours.

Honestly I spend so much time mucking around, to be more effective and to bring my best to the opportunities in front of me is such a good thing.

Hope this helps.

Comment below on how you go here.

Till we meet again


3 thoughts on “getting stuff done

  1. […] friend Amanda writes a great blog over at Capture30Days. Her recent post “getting stuff done” outlines the Pomodoro technique: work for 25 minutes uninterrupted, take a 5 minute break, […]

  2. In my line of work (designing apps, so part design and part programming, part creative and part problem solving), I found the Pomodoro technique more disruptive than helpful. I imagine some jobs it would be amazing for, but my temperament mixed with my line of work it can be quite hazardous to force yourself to “stop” so often – it can really break any sense of “flow” you’re getting.

    I tend to go for 1-3-5 technique instead, which goes like:

    Today I plan to achieve:

    * 1 big thing (~6hr)
    * 3 medium things (~1hr each)
    * 5 small things (~10min each)

    Great though provoking post. You made me want to write my own 🙂 I love the advice about flight mode, that’s golden 🙂

  3. Jason, Thanks so much for replying and posting another task management idea.

    Can’t wait to see what other creatives do to be more effective.

    You make apps?

    We need to have that dinner. ASAP.

    Speak soon


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