As humans, we continuously try to evolve in every aspect of our lives. For the same, we actively search for new ways to become more efficient and agile. Well, this thing now applies heavily in our professional lives, where we have to juggle many things simultaneously. Here, the only thing that matters is managing one's time effectively. For this, many professionals, especially those in leadership positions, practice the Pomodoro technique.
This technique was first introduced as a productivity hack by a French university student Francesco Cirillo back in the '80s. In the Pomodoro technique, the entire day's schedule is divided into short sessions, including ample time to rejuvenate and regain focus at work.
What is the Pomodoro Technique?
Pomodoro technique is a time management cum productivity hack that aims to mitigate one’s exposure to distraction while at work. Like I said above, it divides your entire day’s schedule into 30-minute sessions where 25 minutes is allotted for work, and the remaining 5 minutes is for regaining your focus.
Francesco invented this technique when he found it hard to focus on his studies during the first year of college. He then decided to take a tomato-shaped kitchen timer and initially set it for 10 minutes. In those 10 minutes, he focused on his studies without thinking of anything else, and it worked for him. He discovered that it was much easier for him to stay engaged in his work without any distractions and take short breaks to regain focus.
Cirillo further experimented with this technique and established a solid framework. Since he initially used a tomato-shaped timer, he named it the Pomodoro technique (Pomodoro is the Italian word for Tomato).
He took 25 minutes as a Pomodoro in the defined framework, followed by 5 minutes of a short break.
This way, it becomes easier to stay focused on the task and work with diligence mitigating the chances of burnout.
How to Effectively Implement the Pomodoro Routine?
Maintaining the Pomodoro routine is not tough; you just need to stay firm in your determination. And be able to channel your focus only on the task at hand in every 25-minute Pomodoro work session.
Here are a few things that you need to follow on to make your Pomodoro technique work
1. Create a To-do list and Divide Your Task into Categories
In this step, you should create a to-do list of what you want to accomplish within a definite time frame. Further, categorize all your tasks based on complexity. Here you can put all the easy tasks into one Pomodoro session to mitigate sudden distractions.
Always prepare a to-do list one day before to save time and mentally prepare yourself for any upcoming challenges while doing your work.
2. Set your Pomodoro timer to Ring After 25-Minutes
Here comes the main part, set a timer for 25-minutes, and put your total concentration on the task. During this time, don't let your mind sway because of sudden charges or notifications on social media until the Pomodoro rings.
Try to minimize your communication during the Pomodoro sessions unless it’s very urgent. If you need to break the session, take 5 minutes of break and start with a new Pomodoro to compensate for the lost minutes.
3. Take a Short Break of 5 Minutes After a Successful Pomodoro Session
Once you’ve completed a Pomodoro session take a quick 5-minute break to rejuvenate your mind for the next round. Do note down the things you’ve done in the last 25-minutes to keep track of your progress.
Use this time to rehydrate yourself and check out your inboxes not to miss any essential updates.
4. Take a Longer Break after Four Successful Pomodoros
Now that you've achieved four Pomodoros, i.e., 100 minutes of uninterrupted work, you can reward yourself with a more extended break of around 15 - 20 minutes before you start again.
Try to walk around or get yourself engaged in simple workouts during this interval to keep away work fatigue.
How Does the Pomodoro Technique Help You in Your Work?
The basic idea of the Pomodoro Technique is to help individuals stay focused entirely on their work for 25-minutes at a go. It allows them to break complex tasks into smaller segments that can be done in one Pomodoro session and get a clear view of all the objectives.
Here are a few ways Pomodoro Technique can help you
1. Enables you to Abide by a Definitive Schedule Strictly
The Pomodoro technique is indeed a great time management system. It enables the one using it to abide by a strict schedule without losing focus at work.
With this technique, you can analyze how you use your time and explore your ability to get things done quickly. Every successful Pomodoro session leads you one step closer to your end goal complemented by adequate amounts of short breaks to restore energy and motivation. This way, you can also improve your workflow.
2. Breaks Down Complex Tasks into Small Segments
The Pomodoro method's real beauty lies in the fact that it is very effective against complex and time-consuming tasks. Before starting with the Pomodoro, you can divide your work based on which part will consume the most time. Here, you can save both your time and effort by grouping all the small tasks inside one Pomodoro session. This way, you can keep your minds free from distractions while working on the task's significant aspects.
3. Promotes Accountability
Every time you reset the tomato timer, you become bounded by the time that is slipping away. The pressure to complete the task at hand before the timer rings eliminate the chances of you procrastinating while at work. Thereby making you accountable, which is a highly desired characteristic amongst modern-day professionals.
4. Impacts Work-life Balance
The correct implementation of the Pomodoro technique can highly impact your work-life balance. Since you’re able to get much of your work done on or before time using this technique, you also get ample time for yourself. You can use this surplus time to follow up on your personal commitments or even upskill yourself for the future.
Few Applications to Help you Follow the Pomodoro Technique
1. Focus List
Focus List is a simple yet great tool for listing out all the tasks you need to accomplish. The thing that makes it unique is it gives you a rough idea of how much time it will take to achieve a task along with a Pomodoro timer. Here, you can customize the length of your Pomodoro session as well.
Currently, this tool is only available for Mac & iOS.
Engross is a Pomodoro mobile app that is available for both iOS and Android. This tool comes with a great feature where you just have to tap on the screen when you feel like procrastinating while the timer is still on.
The app then records the moment and presents you with a detailed report on when you fall prey to procrastination and perform the best.
Focus-to-do is another all-rounder software available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and even Chrome Extension.
Here you can schedule all your tasks based on when you want to work on them. It gives you a clear view of all your completed tasks and the upcoming ones. You can also divide any task into multiple Pomodoro sessions if it’s a long-term project. Further, you can note down additional details about your task, which could help you remember important things whenever you get back to it.
Pomotodo tool is a combination of both a To-do list and a Pomodoro timer. In this tool, you can set up your daily tasks and categorize them as per their priority. You can turn on the timer and let it track your sessions. In the pro version of this tool, you can sync it to Google Calendar to streamline your tasks in a better way.
5. Pomodone App
If you already have some other apps to get things done more efficiently, then this app is for you. The pomodone app can easily integrate with other project management tools Trello, Basecamp, Asana, and more. Even if you don’t use any of these other tools, you can easily note down your task in the PomoDone app and get things done.
Here, with the Chrome extension, you can easily block unwanted notifications from certain websites while following up on your Pomodoro routine.
The Pomodone app is available for all the major platforms, be it Web, Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, and Android.
The Pomodoro technique is one of the many productivity hacks that modern-day professionals pursue to become more efficient and agile. Getting started with this time management technique is easy. You can use a simple notepad and a countdown timer with an alarm.
The only thing that matters here is your commitment to following the routine. In the beginning, you can start with longer Pomodoros, and you can eventually decrease the time as you progress.
I hope this article on Pomodoro Technique will help you march towards better productivity. However, if you already use this technique and have used it previously, do let us know your experience in the comments below.