Each day, we are deciding what we do with the time that we have. There are pitfalls that are difficult to avoid. If we have too few tasks that are urgent, we can fritter the time away. If we have too many tasks on the go, we can find ourselves overwhelmed.
When I learnt about the Pomodoro technique, I gave it a shot. I really liked how it provides a structure that allows you to keep track of your progress whilst inserting in short breaks. A typical approach with the Pomodor technique looks like this:
1.) Set the timer to 25 minutes – solely focusing on the task you have set out to achieve – no distractions.
2.) Timer – 5 minute break – To stretch your legs, get a cup of tea etc.
3.) Repeat the above process three times.
4.) After the third time, take a longer break – For e.g. 30 minutes.
This has worked wonders. During my Masters and when I have had tight deadlines to meet when working on composition briefs, I have used this method and it is quite remarkable how much more focused and decisive I am.
I recommend adopting this approach for students and working people alike. It does not have to be the exact framework as above and you can adapt it to your schedule.
The fundamental idea is that we are working with time as opposed to working against time.