Staying focused for prolonged periods of time is hard! Chances are you stumbled across this article because you want to improve your productivity over time, or someone has told you about this technique and you want to find out more.
Either way, here's our quick guide to the Pomodoro technique:
The Pomodoro technique was invented to improve productivity. Developed by a man called Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. Who titled it the ‘Pomodoro technique’ after a tomato-shaped kitchen timer he used to measure time intervals. ‘Pomodoro’ meaning tomato in Italian.
How to start a task with Pomodoro:
- Pick a task and the total time you have to work on it.
- Set a timer for 25 minutes, preferably something physical that will alert you when time is up. An app works great for this (more on this later).
- Work on the task for 25 minutes. NO DISTRACTIONS AND NO MULTITASKING this is the key.
- Give yourself a 5-minute break to refresh, then start another Pomodoro.
- Take a 20-30 minute break every four full Pomodoros.
The timer instils a sense of urgency, that's why it's so important to have something physical representing time. Rather than feeling like you have endless time (which we all do when procrastinating). This technique trains you to get things done instead of wasting precious work hours on distractions. You know you only have 25 minutes to make as much progress on a task.
Hacks for the pomodoro technique
Get an app for it! Simple as that, there are plenty around that can help keep track, just search on your app store. Plus it really helps when tracking all the time intervals. The whole Ultiself mentality is to make these tasks as easy to integrate into your life as possible. So Gamify!
Note: Many apps will have the clock ticking noise. Leave that noise on to remind you of the sense of urgency.
Like with anything, if you set out to challenge yourself on a daily basis this technique can be a really beneficial habit. Not only are you committing to tasks for longer but you also will develop methods of becoming more productive.
A great way to do this would be to track how many pomodoros you do per day and try to improve day by day. It could be, slowly removing the breaks between pomodoros.
However, make sure to use your breaks. You don’t have to stick exactly to the time and break intervals. If you’re in the middle of something it’s okay not to use a break or delay the break by a short amount of time. The whole purpose of this technique is training you for long-term dedication without the need for constant breaks. So reducing the breaks in between each Pomodoro gradually, isn’t actually a bad thing.
Set realistic expectations that encourage consistency. 2-3 pomodoros per day is a great number to start with but everyone has a different lifestyle and different tasks to complete, so adjust this to your liking and keep working on improving day by day. As long as progress is being made and you retain focus during pomodoro time then improvement will be made.
If ideas come up during a pomodoro session write them out and come back to them later. Don’t multitask, it’s really important to maximize productivity and retain focus so the tasks get done faster, giving you a sense of achievement.
Track and measure everything!
Which activities are best using the pomodoro technique for you? Some tasks will work well for you, others won’t! Don’t give up after trying just one task. Keep a note of tasks that work and make them an ongoing habit to use with pomodoro.
Here's a few ideas to start pomodoro that other’s often start with:
- Writing of any kind
- Design and development work
- Building marketing funnels
- Accounting work
Quite quickly you will learn the best time of the day to do your pomodoros. Just make sure you are making a consistent effort to integrate the technique into your life on a daily basis.
To conclude, the Pomodoro technique is a great habit to add to your list if you struggle with productivity, commitment and/or focus. Training your mind by using this technique is definitely beneficial and we highly recommend tracking and using Pomodoro as often as you can.
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