How to manage Big tasks with pomodoro technique

Written on September 8, 2019

“Big” for pomodoro is anything that does not fit into the standard 25 minutes. In practice it appears that almost all tasks initially are “Big”. Typically you would “divide and conquer” such things but this only works when the scope of the task is known ahead. So how to tackle it when it’s not?

Make a plan to make a plan

Usually what I do is I start a reasonably small pomodoro timer for just making a plan. 10-15 minutes could be enough for me to write down few first steps that will make me closer to the finish.

Planning

After making this initial plan at least I know where to start so my next task is anything from the initial todo list.

Start with something

If you haven’t tried using pomodoro technique to become more productive you should. But if you tried, you know that even 1 focused “pomodoro” interval is a very good time investment. Focused doing of anything towards your goal counts and gives you the motivation to continue. Achieving small goals also positively affects your mood.

Down the rabbit hole

Usually you happen to find more things that need to be done during working on the Big task than you initially anticipated. That’s ok, just write them down in TODO as they pop up and continue working on the current one. Overcoming obstacles into small steps is a good way to go. It’s simply impossible to work on everything at the same time so take it easy and move on.

Take breaks

Take rest

Don’t start the new task interval as soon as you can. Relaxation and rest are very important for productivity. Take a break instead. It’s best to fill it with some activity like walking or stretching but it’s up to you. FocusBit will remind you about pending tasks so there’s no need to think about them.

Iterate

“It does not matter how slowly you move if you do not stop” © Confucius

Accomplishing Big tasks is possible with iterative process. You work on what you think is the way to go, after some time you reevaluate if it’s the right direction and make adjustments. It is hard to keep constant focus on the big task all of the time, but managing it in small steps with pomodoro technique makes the process much easier.

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