Working effectively has long been a struggle for many. As the whole world shifted from working onsite to continuing business operations remotely from home, this struggle continued and became an even bigger problem. Is it possible to focus on doing work-related tasks when you can binge-watch your favorite shows, sleep all day, and do absolutely anything you want if you are working from home? Yes! Introducing, the Pomodoro Technique – a sure-fire way to help you power through any distractions, maintain your focus and get your tasks done in shorts bursts while you take frequent “small breaks” to recharge.
What is the Pomodoro Technique?
The Pomodoro Technique was invented by the Author, Developer, and Entrepreneur Francesco Cecillo in the early 1990s. He named the technique “Pomodoro” (the Italian word for tomato) because he used to track his work back then using a tomato-shaped timer.
How does the Pomodoro Technique work?
The Pomodoro Technique is a recurring system – you’ll work on a certain task for a given period of time, take a short break, and then work on the task again. If you have scheduled a large task for the day or maybe a series of small tasks, break the work down into short and timed intervals. Each task will be done in a span of 25-minutes, and when the 25-minute mark is up, you have to take a short break (usually 10-15 minutes) before you continue working on your task again. This technique trains your brain to be hyper-focused for a period of time and with constant practice, this can help improve your concentration and attention span. These short breaks can also recharge your mind and help you be more creative.
Who should try this technique?
Try the Pomodoro Technique if:
- Small distractions like your phone or the TV often keeps you off-track in your tasks
- You usually feel burn-out because of working very long hours
- You have a series of tasks to be done that takes a lot of time (work, studying, doing chores, maintaining your website, etc.)
A step-by-step guide in doing Pomodoro
- Layout all the tasks that need to be accomplished for the day. You can write them down in a piece of paper or a planner (if you have one).
- Get a timer and set it to 25 minutes. You can use your phone’s watch, an application, or a digital watch.
- Work on the task continuously and without any distractions until the timer rings. If you have already finished the task, put a check on your list. If not, continue it later on.
- Take a short break (10-15 minutes, but some opt for 5 minutes in order to maximize their time).
- Every 4 Pomodoros you take (the 25-minute intervals), take a longer break.
Take note that while you are doing a Pomodoro, you cannot be distracted. If in case you do, you have to end your Pomodoro (even if you haven’t reached the 25-minute mark yet) or postpone the distraction until your Pomodoro is complete. If you opt for the second option, you can do the “Inform, Negotiate, and Call Back Strategy”. Here’s how it’s done:
- INFORM the person distracting you that you are currently working on something and that you cannot be distracted at the moment.
- NEGOTIATE with them a time wherein you will get back to them (probably after you finish you one 25-minute Pomodoro Session)
- CALL BACK the other person when you have finished your Pomodoro and you are ready to work on the issue they have brought at hand.
Who uses Pomodoro Technique the most?
The Pomodoro Technique is often used by designers, developers, and other people who need a lot of time to accomplish a certain task. This is also used by people who have to produce a task or a project that needs to be reviewed by someone else. For instance, authors who are writing a book, architects, engineers, and even game developers. The short breaks in between offers a splash of creativity and helps you recharge so you can finish a rigid task ahead.
Don’t get me wrong – even people who want to work on short and simple tasks can also benefit from this technique. For instance, if you are studying for an upcoming quiz, or if you want to arrange your closet, this method is just as effective for you as it is for those who need to allocate a long time on finishing their tasks.
You have to keep in mind though that just because this method worked for others, doesn’t mean it would work for you too. If this method works for you, go for it. If it doesn’t, don’t give up and continue to find other productivity methods that will suit your needs.
Has this method worked for you? Let us know what you think in the comments section!