Email Triage and the Pomodoro Technique

As discussed in all my eProductivity presentations, one of the best practices for mastering your email is to schedule specific times during the day to check the inbox.

That way you ‘single task’ your tasks and activities without email interruption and then ‘single task’ your email processing when you visit the inbox (rather than multi-tasking all these at the same time).

We also discuss the idea of using a timer to help you focus and have a quick look at the Pomodoro Technique. I believe you should have a closer look at this idea and I couldn’t say it any better than has already been said by Michael Einstein’s blog - you won’t regret taking a few minutes to read this!

An outline of the Pomodoro Technique and how it relates to managing your email effectively

However . . . 

The Pomodoro Technique advocates 25 minutes ‘on task’ and then a 5-minute ‘break’, as per image below.

I suggest this is a good way to start but you’ll soon find that 25 minutes is not enough. That’s because the brain only really kicks into gear after we’ve been focusing on a task for at least 15 minutes. That leaves only 10 minutes to make progress with the task and this is often not enough time.

So I suggest that once you get the Pomodoro habit going, build it up to what the latest research shows as the ideal amount of time for each – 52 minutes ‘on task’ and then a 17-minute ‘break’. It might be easier to schedule these into your calendar as 45 mins and 15 mins.

Why not try this technique over the next 2 or 3 weeks, see what difference it makes and then let me know about your progress?

All the best,

Steuart Snooks | 0413 830 772