GUEST CONTRIBUTOR: Lorene Glover is a dedicated serial entrepreneur who also writes in her free time. She’s the mother of two beautiful toddlers, and she manages to develop juices of productivity each day. Her mission is to help other people learn how to efficiently manage their time and life.
If I asked you whether you want to improve your productivity, I am confident you’d say yes. Obviously, everyone wants to be more productive, get more things done, and have better results. Unfortunately, achieving productivity isn’t easy.
You need a strategy, you need time, you need to work hard and smart, and you need to be consistent and disciplined. Pretty much the traits many people lack.
Well, what if I told you there’s a way in which you can organize yourself to get more work done? If you’ve never heard of the Pomodoro technique, here’s an explanation.
What is it?
The Pomodoro technique is a time-management principle or philosophy that’s meant to help the user become focused and creative all while avoiding distraction.
The principle works like this: 25 minutes of FOCUSED WORK followed by a 5-minute BREAK is considered a “Pomodoro”. Once you finish 4 Pomodoros, you may take a 30-minute break to rest and start again.
It really is that simple.
How did it begin?
In the late 1980s, Francesco Cirillo came up with a new time-management technique after using a tomato shaped timer while keeping track of his work. “Tomato” in Italian translated to “Pomodoro”, thus the name.
Since he first introduced the concept, a lot of buzz has been made on the subject, and many individuals have started to either use or heavily criticize the entire philosophy.
What are the benefits?
Many individuals have tested the Pomodoro technique and came up with different results. Here are the most common benefits that people have reported while using this principle:
- Improved focus (nothing else on the mind, just the task and the timer)
- Less procrastination (when you’re thinking in terms of “Pomodoros”, overwhelming projects will no longer seem overwhelming)
- Less risk of burnout (if you feel that you’re working too much, reduce the number of Pomodoros)
- Better time-management (you can easily estimate how much time you’ll spend working)
- You exercise your willpower (you can stop working any time you want – but will you?)
4 Important Tips to Remember
Here are a few tips for you to consider when implementing the Pomodoro technique:
No Extra Breaks
This productivity method’s main purpose is to eliminate distractions and keep you focused on the task. If you’re breaking the #1 rule (which means no distractions), you’re most likely to fail. No breaks during the 25-minute stretch unless you have to.
Distractions don’t equal failure
In case you do get distracted though, don’t let yourself discouraged. We can’t have full control over our lives or work, so don’t be tough on yourself. If you get to work 10 minutes out of 25, note down those 10 minutes on a piece of paper. Start a new Pomodoro (25 min) and continue the work.
The next distraction (let’s say you work 15 minutes, 10 are left out) should be noted down again. If you do the math, 10+15=25 minutes, so you’ve finished a full Pomodoro.
Batch small tasks
This advice comes from Andrew Smith, an HR manager:
“Some tasks can be completed in less than 25 minutes. Whenever you come across many smaller to-dos, try to batch them up and see what you can accomplish in 25 minutes. If the time runs out, start a new timer and continue your progress.”
Adjust Pomodoro to your own needs
Here’s the most important tip: adjust to your own needs. Everything is subjective. If Pomodoro works for you, it might not work for your colleague. In case you find certain ”rules” that don’t fit with your style of work, remove or adjust them to your needs.
Getting results is not a philosophy. If you’re willing to commit and act, implementing the Pomodoro technique is going to be effortless. Still, the results that you can get from it are surely going to surprise you. If you’re now wondering if you should give it a try or not, I really think you should. After all, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!
Also published on Medium.