Using the Pomodoro Technique to Boost Productivity
As the old saying goes, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.” In other words, to see increased success, productivity and efficiency, you’ll need to change up your approach. While you can find lots of advice about a few common productivity methods, there are some unique processes that might just supercharge your efforts. These include creating checklists, as well as eating frogs (we’ll explain, we promise). What these techniques have in common is that they help you more effectively approach the mound of tasks on your to-do list. With this in mind, let’s look at a productivity method that isn’t usually discussed. The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by entrepreneur and author Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. Each interval is known as a Pomodoro, from the Italian word for 'tomato', after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used as a university student. How to get started, in four steps: - Choose a task to be accomplished - Set the Pomodoro to 25 minutes (the Pomodoro is the timer) - Take a short break (5 minutes is OK) - Every 4 Pomodoros, take a longer break That “longer break” is usually on the order of 15-30 minutes, whatever it takes to make you feel recharged and ready to start another 25-minute work session. If you’re distracted part-way by a coworker, meeting, or emergency, you have to end the Pomodoro there. You can get started with any phone with a timer app, a countdown clock or even a plain old egg timer. Cirillo himself prefers a manual timer, and says winding one up “confirms your determination to work.” The focus of the Pomodoro Technique is on the work, not the timer you use. If you would like an actual tomato timer as Cirillo uses, it’s available on Amazon. The hope of the Pomodoro Technique is that you won’t get bored or burnt out on one particular, “must-complete” task. You might even discover more about your working patterns in the process, enabling you to become more efficient in the future.