The Pomodoro Technique
Is time your friend or your foe? For most people, it’s most likely to be a bit of both. We start our workday with high hopes of getting a lot done, and most of us have an entire eight-hour workday ahead of us. Then the unthinkable happens. In the blink of an eye, it’s past noon, and we find we haven’t been nearly as productive as we should have been.
Time management is one of the most challenging things to master, and it is one thing that many people succeed in mismanaging. The result is that our deadlines are staring us in the face, and then we find ourselves in a stressful scramble to finish the task or project in front of us.
There are numerous time management techniques out there, but for the most part, they don’t work. They involve lists of tasks in unrealistic timeframes, and when we find ourselves rushing at the last minute, the frustration kicks in, and we get flustered.
Is it possible to implement one time manages technique that works better than the rest? There sure is, and it’s called the Pomodoro Technique.
1. How to Start with the Pomodoro Technique
Implementing the Pomodoro Technique is a time management system in which you break your workday into 25-minute intervals. In those 25 minutes, you aim to get as much done as you possibly can. To facilitate this burst of productivity, you will need to set a timer for 25 minutes. You can use the timer on your smartphone, but as these phones are often significant sources of distraction, it is better to use an ordinary timer. Of course, you can still use the timer on your smartphone, as long as you don’t start checking your social media accounts. There are plenty of Pomodoro apps you can download if you trust yourself with your phone.
Once your 25 minutes is up, and the timer has announced its completion, you stop working and take a 5-minute break. These intervals are c Pomodoros, hence the name of this technique. Once you have completed four Pomodoro Intervals, take a longer break of 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Won’t the Pomodoro Technique Become Boring?
Any system or technique that is overly repetitive can become dull, and that includes the Pomodoro Technique. However, you can add a little variety to your workday while using this time management method.
Basically, instead of just sitting in the same office chair and working all day, you can use the Pomodoro Technique and spend every second Pomodoro interval at a standing desk. Sit at your desk for a Pomodoro interval for 25 minutes. Get up for your 5-minute break. Then spend the next Pomodoro interval working at a standing desk for 25 minutes and take the next 5-minute break. Just repeat this cycle and watch your productivity increase.
3. What are the Benefits of the Pomodoro Technique?
Have you ever gotten to the end of the workday and felt tired, sore, and frazzled? Most of us have because when we have a heavy workload, it is easy to lose track of time when we sit down at our desks, and it could be several hours before we realize we haven’t moved from the chair.
This issue can be especially difficult for those glued to home office desks as we don’t have workmates telling us it’s time for lunch or a coffee break.
Using the Pomodoro Technique, the challenge is to get as much done before the 25-minute timer goes off, and our reward is a 5-minute break. By getting out of our office chairs, we are less likely to suffer from a sore neck and back while the simple act of standing up and possibly going to the bathroom or getting a cup of coffee gives us an excuse to move, which is better for our overall health.
Another benefit is that our minds won’t become bogged down with work, which often leads to less productivity. When we spend hours pounding away at the same task, our minds start to block information, and mistakes are almost inevitable. A 25-minute burst of productivity followed by a 5-minute break gives us a chance to get up and refresh our minds. That means, when we sit down for the next Pomodoro interval, we are better able to focus and get a lot more done with more accuracy.
Finally, the urgency of the timer pushes us to work faster but not necessarily harder. The timer gives a sense of urgency, which often spurs us to challenge ourselves with each additional Pomodoro interval.
If you feel like a hamster in a wheel, grinding away and getting nowhere, try this quirky little technique and see if you can master being more productive with the Pomodoro Technique. It will not only transform you into a better worker but a happier one as well.