Time is your most valuable resource. When you waste time, it’s lost forever. Most people never seem to have enough time, procrastinate, and struggle to get work done by the deadline.
“There’s a myth that time is money. In fact, time is more precious than money. It’s a nonrenewable resource. Once you’ve spent it, and if you’ve spent it badly, it’s gone forever.”Neil A. Fiore, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist, trainer and the author of six books.
The Pomodoro Technique helps you divide your time into manageable work chunks, instead of trying to do too do it all at once. It also helps your brain get into flow, which can get you to hyper-focus on the task at hand and unleash your productivity.
What is the Pomodoro Technique?
In the 1980s, Francesco Cirillo developed his revolutionary time management method to be more productive at college. He read a study that showed breaking down work into 25 to 40-minute intervals made it more manageable to finish.
Thus, Cirillo experimented with a kitchen timer shaped like a pomodoro (Italian for tomato) to track his time. He divided his time into pomodoros or dedicated work blocks of 25-minute time intervals with 5-minute breaks in between. He minimized interruptions and grouped pomodoros to enhance his focus, tackle longer projects, and improve his productivity.
Eventually, the Pomodoro Method became widely known. It became one of the most popular productivity techniques as millions of people use it worldwide. In 2006, Cirillo published his book, The Pomodoro Technique, to describe the Pomodoro Method in detail.
How to Use the Pomodoro Technique?
Now, we will help you use the Pomodoro Technique to take action. This method will help you manage your time into pomodoros separated by smaller breaks. After about four pomodoros, you should take a more extended break. During each pomodoro, eliminate all distractions and focus on the planned task with no multitasking.
1. Decide on the Task to Work On
Choose the task to work on for your pomodoro. You should be strategic in deciding which tasks need to get done. Use the Eisenhower Matrix to determine what to work now on while deferring, delegating, or deleting other tasks off your workload. Frame the tasks as SMART Goals to be simple, meaningful, actionable, realistic, and trackable.
2. Set the Pomodoro Timer for 25 minutes
Set a timer for 25 minutes. You can use a kitchen timer or your cell phone stopwatch app. However, I recommend using the Tide app, as you can customize each pomodoro with natural sounds like oceans, rain, or storms. Your timer marks the time you are committing to working on the task you chose in the previous step.
3. Work on the Task until the Pomodoro Timer Rings
Fully invest yourself in your task for the next 25 minutes. When your mind wanders, or you think of other tasks that you need to do, list these ideas and tasks on a sheet of paper or digital notebook. These notes will help you clear your brain to focus on your chosen Pomodoro Technique task. You can always return to your list after finishing your pomodoros.
Note, the 25-minute pomodoro can help your mind get into a flow state. Also known as being in the zone, a flow state is the mental state in which you are fully immersed in your chosen task in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment. Thus, you are making significant progress on your work and may not want to stop. Thus, some people like working for longer periods of 45 minutes to an hour (also known as a power hour) with a longer break afterward.
4. Take a Short 5-Minute Break
Great Job! Hopefully, you just worked on a task for a whole, distraction-free period using the Pomodoro Technique. Now, give yourself a short 5-minute break. If you worked for longer than 25 minutes, you should reward yourself with a longer break. This time off can involve you getting coffee, taking a walk, meditating, exercising, or reading. It will give your mind some time to rest before getting into a flow state again.
5. After 4 Pomodoros, Take a Longer Break
After completing four pomodoros, take a more extended break of about 20 to 30 minutes. You earned it, as you just focused on your work using the Pomodoro Technique for 100 minutes or longer! The longer break will give your mind time to rest and digest your work before starting the next round of Pomodoro methods.
6. Review Your Work
After your tasks are finished or done with your pomodoros, you should conduct a review. This review is to understand how the tasks went and what actions can be taken to improve productivity. Before starting the next work blocks, you can implement what you learned to be more productive using the Pomodoro Technique.
Keys to Success
- Divide your work into smaller blocks to be more manageable.
- Define the task you want to work on during the pomodoro.
- Commit to using the technique during each work block.
- Get into a flow state to hyper-focus on the task at hand.
- Conduct a review to understand what you can improve upon.
I hope you are able to crush it and take action by using the Pomodoro Technique. If you have any further questions or need additional help, feel free to comment below or send me an email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.