I was looking for an efficient form of time management and came across Pomodoro. The benefits of the Pomodoro Technique surprised me. And my productivity has improved dramatically as a result.
Personally I have never been someone who let a clock determine my working day. This was because I did not work set hours. However, consistently working approximately 60 – 70 hours a week was only ever going to have a negative impact on my health and my long-term productivity.
How I Became a Clock Watcher
Well, after that introduction I would like to confess a change in me. I have become a clock watcher – shock and horror. And it is all to do with the need to be productive and efficient in what I do. The cause of this – the Pomodoro Technique which I have recently adopted to assist me in completing actions that I need to do each day to ensure that my day is filled to the brim with solid output.
What I was really impressed with were the benefits of the Pomodoro Technique.
What is the Pomodoro Technique?
Francesco Cirillo developed the Pomodoro Technique in 1987. At this time he was studying for his exams. He set the timer for just a couple of minutes. After a number of years of research he discovered that the optimum time to focus was in 25 minute segments.
How It Works
In its simplest terms the technique is as follows. Work for 25 minutes focusing on a particular task/activity. Then take a break for 5 minutes. Repeat this sequence four times.
At the end you will have achieved 100 minutes of work time. On completing the last Pomodoro, or 25 minutes of time, take a longer rest period of approximately 20 – 30 minutes.
All this is assisted by a kitchen timer that rings every time the 25 minutes are up.
Benefits Of The Pomodoro Technique
I liked the structure of the system. But what really impressed me were the number of benefits of the Pomodoro Technique. Here are my 12.
Number 1. There is no requirement for expensive equipment. All you need is paper, pen and a timer.
2. I have the attention span of a goldfish and I find it hard to get going. Knowing that I have a 25 minute time span makes me think, “That’s not too long”. Even I can manage that.
3. I can achieve 100 minutes of activity (1 ½ hours). This is useful when working on; a project, studying, trying to write a blog post or even doing the dreaded housework.
4. I am more aware of what I can achieve in 100 minutes as I have become better at understanding how long certain tasks take which in itself is a time saver.
5. It helps to break big tasks down into smaller manageable and achievable steps
6. I understand where I spend my time and what I am doing. I am more focused on the right things and working towards my goals.
6 More Benefits
7. Interruptions are kept to a minimum. Most things can wait for 25 minutes. If there was a crisis or disaster I would break off.
8. I hold myself accountable for what I am doing. I am better at grouping similar tasks together to maximise my time.
9. At the end of the day I feel that I have achieved something.
10. I manage stress better. I become more relaxed about taking things on and getting them completed.
11. It encourages me to take a break from the computer screen if I am working on something that requires a PC.
12. I get to do a bit of stretching in the 5 minute breaks, or if I am feeling energetic and I want to get my step count up I jog on the spot which wakens my body up and prepares me for the next 25 minutes of focus.
Questions About The Pomodoro Technique
You may be thinking that this is all very well, but you cannot see this technique working for you. Below are some challenges others have mentioned to me. I have done my best to offer suggestions.
I am extremely focused and work solidly for a long period of time. 25 minutes would be too restrictive.
Having breaks is essential as it allows the body to refresh itself which means that you can be more productive. Self-care is really important here. Productivity does reduce the longer a person goes without having breaks.
I have a very fluid daily schedule which constantly changes. Finding 115 minutes (I include the 5 minute breaks here) is not doable.
Whilst the optimum use of getting something done is 4 iterations of 25, there is no hard and fast rule. 25 minutes of focussed attention can be scheduled at different times of the day.
My day frequently has periods of less than 25 minutes so there is no point in starting anything.
There is nothing to say that your Pomodoro’s need to be 25 minutes in duration. Adapt the time to suit your needs. Ensure there is consistency as this will create accurate measurement. Otherwise, the ability to break your tasks down consistently will fail.
A Revolution in Planning and Organising
For me, this technique has revolutionised how I plan and organise myself. The benefits of the Pomodoro Technique I outlined above means I can work towards my goals on a consistent basis and projects completed without feeling overwhelmed. It ensures that I stay focused for a set period of time which is really important to me as I do tend to get distracted very easily.
If you have goals that you want to achieve, or things that have been on your to-do list (or as I prefer to call them, my action list) forever, then give the Pomodoro Technique a go and see how you get on.
If you do give this a go, then please do let me know how you get on, I would love to hear your stories of how it has worked for you.
Want To Learn More?
If you want to learn more about The Pomodoro Technique, then I recommend the following:
Official web site: – https://francescocirillo.com/pages/pomodoro-technique
The Pomodoro Technique, The Life-Changing Time-Management System by Francesco Cirillo – learn from the master who created this system.
Pomodoro Technique Illustrated by Staffan Nöteberg – a wonderful easy to read, informative book with great graphics which goes through the technique in step by step detail