Time Management & The Pomodoro Technique
The California Desert Trial Academy’s (CDTA) unique educational platform focuses on students learning the soft skills in addition to the core substantive law. The soft skills that students at the CDTA can expect to learn are numerous. Training goes beyond bar-tested academic subjects and include skills training and values reinforcement. All the soft skills – critical thinking skills, logical, clear and concise writing skills, effective reading skills, and persuasive presentation skills – are important and beneficial to a student’s future success as a legal advocate. One such soft skill is time management. The Pomodoro Technique has been used effectively to maximize a worker’s efficient use of time for thirty years.
Timers can serve a purpose other than tracking billable hours but can also help save time on non-billable tasks. Francesco Cirillo created the Pomodoro Technique in the late 1980s. This method requires workers to focus on one task for a set time period, thus reducing task switching, while taking regular, frequent breaks to avoid and minimize mental fatigue.
The Pomodoro Technique works as follows:
- Choose a task for completion;
- Set a timer (pomodoro) for 25 minutes;
- Focus on this task—and only this task—for the entire 25 minutes. Work on the task until the pomodoro rings. Make the following oath: “I will spend 25 minutes on this task, and I will not interrupt myself;”
- When the pomodoro rings, put a checkmark on a piece of paper to indicate the completion of an entire, interruption-free Pomodoro. This may be a task in itself or the component of a larger task;
- Take a short break when the pomodoro rings to end the session. Go for a quick walk, have a cup of coffee, or just breathe or meditate. Enjoy some relaxing activity that is not work-related;
- Every four Pomodoros, take a longer break of 20 or 30 minutes; and
- Repeat as needed (take a longer break if you’re doing three to four cycles in a row).
Using the Pomodoro Technique, workers tend to stay focused and mentally sharp, thus minimizing any decline in productivity as the hours they work accumulate. In sum, the method helps workers learn how to work in tandem with time, eliminate burnout, manage distractions, and foster the creation of a solid balance between work and everything else, using only a pen, paper, and a pomodoro (kitchen timer).
If you are interested in becoming an exceptional legal advocate, consider the benefits of the California Desert Trial Academy. As a member of CDTA’s growing family, you’ll receive access to our student and alumni attorneys, who freely and openly share their legal experiences, career advice, and academic tips. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.