Do you struggle to get through a single task without a lapse in concentration? Are you often finding that you are overwhelmed by the number of tasks you have and the amount of time you have to do them?
Well, perhaps the Pomodoro Technique is the answer you have been looking for. The Pomodoro Technique is a time management system that was developed by Entrepreneur and Software Developer, Francesco Cirillo in the 1990’s and is centered on the idea of performing tasks in uninterrupted chunks of 25 minutes at a time.
Benefits of The Pomodoro Technique
Before we dive into the Pomodoro Technique itself, and how to apply it in your life or business, it is worth understanding why this time management technique has become so popular in the first place.
- The Pomodoro Technique forces you to cut down, and even removes, interruptions from your workflow. This is made possible by the short, 25 minute bursts of attention the Pomodoro Technique calls for.
- It removes the potential for procrastination or dwelling on large tasks for too long. Everyone can work/focus for 25 minutes at a time, so instead of dwelling on what needs to be done the Pomodoro Technique makes the barrier to entry low enough that you just get started.
- The Pomodoro Technique can also act as an effective tool for tracking the amount of time and attention you give to each task or area of your business. By tracking each “Pomodoro” you can easily calculate how many “Pomodoro’s” you spent on say marketing each day, week or month.
How To Get Started With The Pomodoro Technique
It is easy for anyone, anywhere to get started with the Pomodoro Technique. Essentially, the Pomodoro Technique can be broken down into six easy to understand and easy to remember steps.
Step One – Choose A Task
The first step is of course to choose a task that you need to work on. This task can be big or small. If you already use a task management tool and have prioritized your tasks then its easy just to jump straight in and choose the task that is at the top of your list.
Step Two – Set The Timer
The Pomodoro Technique calls for working on tasks in 25 minute blocks of time. During this twenty five minute block you are to focus solely on the task at hand. You need to ignore every other potential distraction including phone calls, emails and social media.
Until the time goes off, marking the end of that 25 minute block of time, you must be solely focused on the task you choose to work on.
Step Three – Get To Work
As good as the Pomodoro Technique is it can’t do the work for you. So step three is to actually do the work you set out to complete.
As mentioned above the entire 25 minutes of your time should be focused on this one task. If other things pop into your head or need to be added to your to-do list, jot them down and keep going with the original task.
Nothing should distract you from dedicating the full 25 minutes to the task.
Step Four – Give Yourself A Tick
When the Pomodoro timer goes off this means you have successfully completed an entire, interruption less Pomodoro on a task. You reward is to tick off that 25 minute block of time.
Step Five – Take A Break
After completing one Pomodoro it’s time for a break. You should get up from your desk and take a brief walk, grad a cup of tea or coffee or perhaps even do a short burst of mediation.
This is all about resetting your mind and clearing your thoughts for the next 25 minute Pomodoro.
Step Six – Complete 4 Pomodoros
Obviously could can’t just complete one Pomodoro and call it a day. That’s why the Pomodoro Technique calls for working on 4 Pomodoros in a row before taking a longer break.
With your 4 Pomodoros, and the short breaks you take between each, this essentially adds up to a 2 hour block of time.
After completing 4 Pomodoros / 2 hours or so of work it is time to take a longer break. This could go for 15, 20 or even 30 minutes. It is just enough time to rest your mind without losing too much time during the day.
After you break it’s time to jump back in and start again with step one.
Also published on Medium.