Do you sometimes feel that you haven’t done anything the whole day? You wanted to finish a part of a project but there was always something distracting you? I’m right there with you. At time I had a hard time remembering that I’ve been doing all day at work and felt like I hadn’t accomplished anything. Something had to change, so I did a little research on productivity techniques and discovered the Pomodoro Technique. It completely changed the way I structure my work day and helped me focus on the tasks before me and get more things done.
How the Pomodoro Technique works
The Pomodoro Technique was developed by Francesco Grillo in the 1980s and it is unbelievably simple and effective.
One Pomodoro unit is divided into four cycles of 25 minutes of work followed by a 5 minute break. Once you have finished one Pomodoro unit you can take a longer break of 30 minutes. Sounds simple, right?
Start by writing down all your tasks of the day on a piece of paper (I like to do that the evening before), set a kitchen timer or your phone for 25 minutes and start with a task of your choice from your list. Work on it for 25 minutes without getting distracted. Finished with your task before the alarm goes off? You can either do another small task in the time left or enjoy a longer break. Need more time for the task at hand? You can spend as many cycles on it as you need to finish it. Or you can take a break from it after one cycle and get back to it later. Unless there’s a deadline looming at the end of the day.
5 things you can do in your five minute break
You’ve successfully finished your task and now it’s time for a break. So what can you do in five minutes? Basically anything you want. Whatever keeps you motivated while doing the task. Here are five things what I like to do during my break:
- Stand up and stretch. Since most of us are sitting all day long, a little bit of stretching prevents your muscles from getting sore and tense.
- Get something to eat or drink. Make sure you have to leave your desk to get a drink or snack.
- Walk around.
- Close your eyes. It will prevent your eyes from getting sore during the day.
- Got to the bathroom.
The possibilities are endless. Get creative and enjoy your break.
The benefits of working with the Pomodoro Technique
Working with the Pomodoro Technique has a lot of benefits. For example, it will help you:
- to prioritize your tasks
- to track your time needed and the results of your tasks
- to prevent strains or injuries from sitting at the desk for a long period of time
- to start with a task. Especially daunting ones.
- to avoid procrastination.
And these are just a few of the benefits I have encountered since I’ve started using this technique. Especially getting away from the desk during the breaks helps me to manage my energy levels throughout the day.
One little helper I like to use is E.gg Timer, a web-based app that already has a preset for the Pomodoro Technique. I keep it open in the browser in the background while working.
I hope you will give this simple technique a try. Or are you already using it? Do you have other productivity tips for me? Share it in the comments.
Have a great (and productive) time,