Friday, August 05, 2016

Time Management: You Say Tomato - Titus 1:3

Titus 1:3          …and which now at his appointed season he has brought to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior…

            You say “Tomato,” and I say, “Pomodoro.”

            Pomodoro is the Italian word for tomato. It’s also the name of a time management technique that I have recently been using. The system was developed by an Italian college student who, in his freshman year, realized that he had a lot of reading, studying, and writing to do which could overwhelm him. So he took a tomato cooking timer and set it to 25 minutes. For every task he was about to undertake, he gave it 25 fully focused minutes in order to get the bulk of his work done. After each Pomodoro portion, he took a break to either get some coffee, go for a short walk, or just sit back and chill out. The technique worked and he successfully completed his full college course.

            The Pomodoro technique is an excellent system for workplace situations where people tend to overdo the multi-tasking that a lot of folks claim they accomplish. Using the Pomodoro enables workers to focus on an important task, take the necessary breaks in order to recharge, and to accomplish it successfully. As I wrote, I have been using the technique during this summer and have found it has helped me become more focused and productive.

It’s also a highly beneficial technique for anyone who is undergoing stress. Perhaps there’s serious illness in your family or you’re just feeling overwhelmed. You still have a lot of responsibilities and don’t know where or how to start. Writing down your main task list and then working on those items individually for 25 minutes each may help you accomplish what you need to do. It’s an excellent system for busy people – mothers with schoolchildren – adults with ailing parents – seniors with responsibilities – and, of course, college students.

So why am I writing about this as a Bible devotion? Today’s verse is all about God’s appointed time for Christ’s ministries and missions. The Greek word used is ‘kairos,’ which means a special moment that God has predestined. It seems that God is into Time Management, too, in order to get His work accomplished. J

Questions for personal reflection

How busy am I these days? When I get overwhelmed by my responsibilities, what techniques do I use to fulfill them? How does God want me to use my precious time?

Prayer:            Lord Jesus, You had so little time on Earth and yet You fulfilled all Your appointed tasks. Help us to focus on what You need us to do today, so our lives will be given meaning and purpose in Your Kingdom. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment or ask questions about today’s message, please send him an email to

If you would like to read about the technique, a short Kindle e-book is available at this link: Pomodoro.

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