Are there enough hours in the day for you? Do you struggle to finish projects or do you get distracted easily? Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. Many people have days where they can’t seem to find the energy or the focus to maximize time. While it’s a common problem, it’s great to find strategies, like the Pomodoro Technique, to improve productivity.
Time management is one of the most crucial aspects of being productive. If you’re looking for a technique to maximize and improve your time management – look no further. Our friend Kelly Bertog from Six Figure Sponsorships describes the Pomodoro Technique as “a lifesaver for keeping for keeping me focused on my work at home.”
Francesco Cirillo invented the technique as a university student when he realized that studying in bursts with a timer greatly increased his time management skills. He used a tomato shaped kitchen timer, hence the usage of the word Pomodoro, which translates to tomato in Italian.
The Pomodoro Technique is a simple time management approach that includes budgeting your time into short increments and then taking breaks regularly. Generally, work is done for a 25-minute work period called a Pomodoro and then a 5-minute break is taken. However, you can adjust your work and break time to intervals that best suit you.
One tip while using the Pomodoro Technique, is to establish your priorities for the day. A simple to-do list will suffice, and as Success Coach Jaime Pfeffer recommends, “I always set intentions at the beginning of the week for the week ahead. I aim to get the top three done (just like for my daily intentions).”
Another tip while using the Pomodoro Technique, is to establish your priorities for the day. Yan Lhert, whose name you may remember from our post last week, recommends getting exercise daily, “taking a walk around the block before you start work allows you to create a distinctly separate experience between home life and work life.”
This method generally follows a five-step process;
Step 1. Decide on the task to be accomplished
Step 2. Set a timer (typically 25 minutes)
Step 3. Work on the task until the timer rings, then place a check mark on a piece of paper
Step 4. Take a short break (typically 5 minutes)
Step 5. Every 4 Pomodoros (100 minutes of work time with 15 minutes of break time) take a 15-20 minute break and then reset your check mark count to zero
The Pomodoro Technique is effective because frequent breaks keep your mind focused and helps keep the creative juices flowing. Those who use the method can “generally find it helps them to complete projects faster with less mental fatigue.
It can also help with distractions. Susan Neuhaus, Graphic Designer for NeuStudio adds that the method “helps in two ways: it is easier to say no to useless distractions like Facebook because I’ve made a commitment to myself. I can also resist my design task being interrupted by email because I know that in 25 minutes (or less) I’ll be free to focus on email.”
The technique is very beneficial for those with long to-do lists because it forces you to adhere to a strict timeframe. This aids in completing tasks faster by increasing focus noting the timer run down. Spreading a project out over multiple Pomodoros can also help prevent getting frustrated on tasks that require more time. By timing your projects you become more accountable for them and reduce the time spent procrastinating.
Remember, this is just one of many strategies that can maximize your time. However, many who use the technique believe they experience increased productivity, improved quality and quantity of work, better time management, increased focus and motivation, and stay fresher throughout the day.
The technique has been implemented by students as well as freelancers and consultants, as it keeps track of time spent. Finding and utilizing a time management strategy is what increasing productivity is all about. If you want to improve your productivity, give the Pomodoro Technique a try. It’s an easy way to practice better time management tools and most who try it continue to use it.