Use the Pomodoro technique to focus and work with the unshakable concentration that can boost productivity manifold.
Time management is one of the most valuable skills to have. Prioritizing tasks, staying productive at the workplace, and keeping the focus on work are all necessary faculties.
We often face never-ending multitasking that only makes us more tired. Even then we rarely take a break, but rather sit in front of a computer for hours.
Instead of spending hours trying to work our way through a pile of tasks, we should practice working in short periods focused on one task, followed by small breaks. That’s what the Pomodoro technique is all about.
Pomodoro productivity hack makes us work in short intervals with high concentration, after which we can take a break and stay focused, fresh, and centered.
We are going to show you how you can implement Pomodoro at work and even everyday activities. If you think that limited work intervals would disrupt your flow, we encourage you to try it anyway and adjust the length of the segments to a suitable duration.
What Is Pomodoro?
Pomodoro got its name after a tomato-shaped kitchen timer. Francesco Cirillo, an Italian entrepreneur, and developer, invented this technique during his studies back in the 80s. His primary goal was to improve concentration and focus only on one task at a time, without trying to tackle multiple assignments all at once.
The second objective was to eliminate long periods of unproductivity to save time. His technique is mainly based on time management, but it also emphasizes disciplined work and continuity.
How Does Pomodoro Work?
This is the Pomodoro structure:
- Choose a task you would like to complete
- Set the timer
- Focus on your task for 25 minutes
- Take a 5-minute break (get coffee, drink water, stretch your legs)
- Repeat this process – also known as one Pomodoro – until you complete four 25-minute intervals with 5-minute breaks
- After four Pomodoros take a longer, 15-30-minute break
The Pomodoro structure stresses breaks as much as it puts focus on working intervals. Taking breaks helps you refresh and recharge for the next scoop of work, and this is essential for intense activities.
What Happens During One Pomodoro?
Most of us work 40 hours per week or 8 hours per day. If you decide to use the Pomodoro technique at work, you need to break your workload into steps and cycles.
Create a list of your daily tasks. Then, break down more complicated tasks into a few smaller ones. Make them small enough to complete them in 25 minutes.
If you don’t succeed at first, learn from your experience, and split your workload into even more smaller tasks in the future. This way you will have a clear insight into your 8h at work.
Truth be told, maintaining 8 hours of solid, unshakable focus, even with intermittent breaks, is not an easy thing to achieve, but once you master the technique you might be able to conclude as much work in fewer hours.
Assign a special Pomodoro for numerous smaller tasks
Watch out for those little, menial things you need to do every day. Stuff like replying to emails, chatting with colleagues and discussing lunch options should never compromise your Pomodoro.
If you have to do these things every day, schedule a separate Pomodoro just for them. That way smaller tasks won’t interfere with bigger ones, and you’ll keep the focus on what’s important.
Pomodoros cannot be interrupted
Once you create a list of tasks, prioritize them, and get ready for focused work. You should spend each interval actively working on your project, novel, design, code or whatever you are doing at your job. Be focused, persistent and don’t interrupt your Pomodoro.
You shouldn’t pause your concentrated interval, so unless you’re dealing with emergency inform everyone that wants a piece of your time that you’ll be available after you’re done. Since your Pomodoro lasts only 25 minutes, your colleagues won’t have to wait for too long.
How will Pomodoro help me deal with intense work?
Focused intervals combined with short breaks are in sync with our natural attention span which declines after 20 minutes. We are used to forcing ourselves to work even when we feel like we need a break.
What usually happens is that we zone out, check social media feeds, stare through the window and check our phones. Pomodoro puts a stop to this type of behavior since these actions are damaging to our productivity.
When you have an intensive project in front of you, you might feel overwhelmed. That is usually the panic talking, the mental block when facing a big challenge. To help fight that feeling you can use Pomodoro’s three lists. It’s the power of pen and paper that will save the day.
Write down goals, daily tasks and make a note of all things done
Pomodoro can help you to realistically estimate how much time you need to complete your objectives. Even the most intense work looks possible once you put it down on paper and break it into intervals. The three lists should include:
- The Goal List — a list of all your objectives
- To-Do List — this is a list of all your daily activities
- Evaluation or Records — the review of your work
The Goal List can include everything from weekly to a monthly planner. If you don’t already use a software or a productivity app, you can take a piece of paper and write it all down. Then decide what should be on your To-Do List. Split work into segments, set the timer and focus only on short-term goals.
By dealing with short-term goals, you won’t feel intimidated by the massive project you need to complete. You will deal only with work that you can realistically accomplish in a day. At the end of the day indicate a successful Pomodoro and see where you underestimated your potential and where you set unrealistic goals.
Write this in your Evaluation list. The list will help you learn more about yourself and the way you work. With such valuable insight, you will be able to spot your important triggers that break your focus and avoid them in the future.
Pomodoro will help you get through the day, make reasonable decisions when it comes to setting up deadlines, and progress as you learn more about yourself and your working style.