The importance of the 4th quadrant

The importance of the 4th quadrant

We all have our list of things that fall in Q4 (of the Eisenhower Matrix): things you know you should be doing or want to get to some day, but there's no reason to do it now… However, by scheduling Q4 tasks for the future, you actually 'postpone' to tomorrow, and tomorrow has an annoying habit of not showing up. Here are 3 ways to take charge of your Q4!

Read More

We hope you don't say these 7 things!

We hope you don't say these 7 things!

Almost every client we work with is quite smart, professional, and effective. But in some cases, their underlings can fail to live up to their high standards. In the last couple of months, after enduring a series of classic ineffective tactics like saying 'yes!' to everything a boss says (and later asking 'what did he mean by that?'), we thought we'd do this in public interest. And tell you why it matters to your future relevance.

Read More

What does a tomato have to do with managing your time?

Image: johnnyberg/freeimages.com
Image: johnnyberg/freeimages.com

The Pomodoro Technique, created by Italian Francesco Cirillo, suggests that you divide your working time into blocks of 25 minutes (when you work), followed by a 5 minute break (when you rest your mind, catch up on email etc.).

The idea is that it helps to alternate work and breaks, that it's hard to focus beyond 30 mins at a time, and that you can get more productivity by not mixing work & recreation (which has become quite difficult given the environments most of us operate under these days).

Some people who've tried it have opted to extend the duration of a period from 25 to 45, followed by a 15 minute break (essentially following a 60 min cycle, rather than a 30 min cycle). Which makes sense since switching in and out of context has to be budgeted for.

Others have just ignored it and stuck to their own messy but tried ways of operating. This model is hard to pull off if you aren't in too much control of your own work time: if you are interrupted by peers, managers, emails, calls, telemarketers, tweets etc. But we think it's worth a try.

You can use a simple alarm clock or set your mobile phone's alarm to do this. You even get specialised apps/browser extensions to manage this (we've tried them - mostly overkill and a reason to procrastinate).

Oh, and what does a tomato have to do with all this? "Pomodoro" means "tomato" in Italian. Apparently, Cirillo, used a timer in the shape of a tomato to try this method.

Yes, they have a website for it.