I've been watching Mariana's videos on YouTube for quite a few years, especially when studying for my Master's in Psychology. I find her approach and her style very calming. She is very reasonable, never pushes you to follow her method or else. She simply shares her ideas and observations with you. And you end up feeling like listening to a very good and trusted friend. You can take her advice on board or simply listen to her voice and have a few minutes of 'me-time'.
I love trying and testing different time management techniques. But most of all, I enjoy reading about easy or lazy techniques, whimsical ones. And I hope delving into Mariana's approach will help you and me to add another useful tool to our time management toolkit that is fun and easy to implement.
So in The Time Management Method for "Lazy" People, Mariana divides time management approaches into structured (the pomodoro technique) or relaxed (creative brainpower). But she also sets out to find an answer if it’s possible at all to combine the two.
The Pomodoro technique
The Pomodoro technique is very popular, especially amongst busy people who value their time, as it helps to mix focused work with rest time.
How you do it:
You choose one task.
Set the Pomodoro timer for 25 minutes (or more).
Followed by 5 minutes break.
Repeat as often as needed to complete the task.
Benefits of the Pomodoro technique
The Pomodoro technique helps with keeping you focused for a short period and in a distraction free environment.
It also aids motivation, as there is a set amount of time dedicated to focused work.
Reminds you to take breaks.
Encourages to only work on a task for a certain amount of ‘pomodoros’.
Drawbacks of the Pomodoro
When working on a long or challenging task, it disrupts productivity.
Hard to reset your brain to focused work after break, so if your attention span is short, it might not be for you.
Flow state or creative brainpower technique
Flow state or relaxed creative brainpower method is all about throwing time limits and other constraints out of the window and just going with the flow (as the title shows).
How you do it:
You work on the task that you enjoy for as long as you want.
There are no hard rules. Instead, you do what feels right to you now.
You might forget to eat because it’s not your priority in the flow state.
Very good for when you need to tackle a huge amount of work.
You don't need to stop for a long period.
No constraints or limitations (time, calendar, other people, etc.).
Hard to reach, especially for some people.
No rules on taking breaks.
Might cause a burnout as you might stretch yourself too much.
Would not work for those who require strict guidelines or accountability.
And then Mariana experiments for combining the two to see if we could benefit from being a little bit time-bound but also free from other limitations, allowing ourselves to achieve the enigmatic flow state easier.
Mindful approach, flowmodoro or flowtime (Marina's orphorgaphy)
Break your day into blocks - focused work then breaks.
Work for one hour to an hour and thirty minutes, then take a break.
Know your body’s cues when you are feeling tired and then take a break.
Techniques to apply with flowtime
Calendar blocking, and time batching
Schedule longer focus time that with the Pomodoro technique and instead of working on one task, include several small task within that stretch of time by blocking it in your calendar. For example:
Glass of water
You take breaks in between as and when needed.
The ABCD Method Principles
Divide all your tasks by importance, with A being the most important and D not very important.
Complete tasks per importance.
So the best way to do this ABCD method is by combining it with the pomodoro technique.
You choose one task from list A, work on it for however you set your time for.
Take 5 minutes break, then either continue with task A, or move onto task B if A is complete and so on.
Final Thoughts on Time Management for Lazy People
I personally prefer the pure flow state. My brain rebels every time I try to put boundaries or constrain myself.
However, saying that, the Pomodoro technique works for me very well when I am at work.
When I need to complete tasks that are not very creative and do not require coming up with ideas, I love setting up the timer for 40 minutes to complete whatever task I need to.
Then I take a break, during which I stand up and go for a little walk around my room (I work from home).
This helps me to stay relatively focused on the task at hand, and stay active as I keep moving.
You can watch The Time Management Method for "Lazy" People by Mariana Vieira here: