You can know what work needs to be done but be too distracted to get it done efficiently. Productivity is all about how well you can focus so you can get work done efficiently. Being able to focus on what you're doing means fewer mistakes, and you produce higher quality work. The Promodoro Technique is perfect for helping you to be able to do this.
All-day, you're getting bombarded with an ever-growing to-do list, emails, text messages, social media messages, and many other distractions. The Pomodoro Technique is a time blocking system that helps you to get laser-focused on important tasks.
Time = life; therefore, waste your time and waste of your life, or master your time and master your life. - Alan Lakein
What You Will Learn
Why Does Increasing Productivity Matter?
You want to work on increasing your productivity because of how valuable time is. There is nothing you can do to get time back in your life. Once the time is spent, it's gone forever. Money does not work in this same way, yet it's often treated as if it's more valuable than time.
Think about how you would feel if you lost $1000 cash. You would go on a crazy hunt looking for that money, and you would be sick to your stomach thinking about how you lost that much money. But people do not act this way when they waste hours in their days and weeks, but why? You can get $1000 dollars back, but you can't get even 1 minute of your time back.
Productivity matters because the better you are at it, the more efficient you become with your work and schedule. It means that you can get a task done the right way in an hour instead of spending three hours on it because you keep checking Instagram. Productivity matters because it helps you to get your time back.
What is The Pomodoro Technique?
The Pomodoro Technique is where you break all of your tasks into 25-minute hyper-focused blocks of time. You need to be hyper-focused to make sure that you are as efficient as possible during these blocks. Then you take a five-minute break. After completing four of these blocks, you are allowed to take a 30-minute break.
The system was designed in the 80s by Francesco Cirillo. The word Pomodoro simply means tomato in Italian, and he called it that because he used a tomato-shaped egg timer to time everything.
The technique works because when done well, you only focus on one thing, but you don't have to focus on one thing for so long that you can bear it. Most people work way too long at one time without taking a mental break, so the technique also helps ensure that you produce quality work.
You can use it for any task you want, but the key is that you just focus on that one, and there is something about knowing that the clock is ticking that helps keep you focused. By building in breaks in your day, you know you will have time to do things like check social media and not feel guilty about it.
6 Steps Process for The Pomodoro Technique
The technique is really simple to do but its harder than it looks to stay focused if you're used to multitasking your way through it. There are a lot of different tools we cover below to help you do this well.
7 Helpful Tips for Mastering The Pomodoro Technique
Tip #1 - Take Your Breaks Serious
The one thing that is hard about this technique is that you want to get more work done, so you quickly consider working through your break. Don't do it! Once you get into the habit of working through breaks you will never take them, and you will not be doing this technique right. The point of the breaks is to recharge and help you do some things that usually distract you during work time.
Tip #2 - Adjust Time for How Long You Can Focus
You don't have to do 25 minute periods if you think you can hold your focus longer. It's a good idea to start at 25 minutes, though. You want to start at 25 minutes, though, and see how well you can keep your attention locked into just doing one thing. Once you prove that you can do it, you can extend the time out if you think it's needed.
Tip #3 - Start Over When Interrupted
Many people have different views on this. I think you should start over when you lose focus in the 25 minutes. What this does is train you to focus and to punish yourself when you lose focus. The reality is that you can work for 20 minutes of pure concentration and have to start over. That 20 minutes of work does not go to waste, but it's about the principle.
Tip #4 - Don't Jump All Over The Place
The key to getting The Pomodoro Technique correct is staying focused on one task at a time until its complete. Some people do it and think that it's just about working, and that could not be further from the truth. If you're going to go through email, you set a 25-minute timer and go to work on it, and you only do that until it's done. You also want to pair similar tasks together, so your day has a flow to it that makes sense.
Tip #5 - Plan Your Day Out
The beautiful thing about The Pomodoro Technique is that you can plan your time blocks out. To get good at this, you need to know how long something will take you. For example, if you're writing an article like this one, you may need 3 blocks of time to complete it. Then you write a shorter article after using two blocks. Then you move to one block for email. You can plan out your entire day this way.
Great Tools for The Pomodoro Technique
Apps are great because you know your phone is going to be with you. The downside is that its a distraction in itself, so you need to be careful. I enjoy throwing my phone away from me as I can safely toss it when its time to work. The three apps below are worth giving a try.
Web extensions are great for when you have a lot of work to do on your desktop. Some block distracting websites all together during your 5 minutes to make sure that you're staying on track the entire time.
Manual tools are things you can use that are not set up for The Pomodoro Technique like the things listed above. What this means is that you will have to set breaks and work times manually. The great thing about this is that it provides you with more freedom form tech. The bad news is that you have to set it all manually.
How The Pomodoro Technique Will Change You
Using this technique will change how you work forever because it will bring an intense focus to everything you are doing. When you're relaxing, you are fully invested in relaxing, but when its time to go, you know work needs to get done.
When you follow this system, you will notice that you get things done quickly, and the quality of your work will be much higher. The things that used to be distractions will become things you only enjoy int heir appropriate times.