If you’re looking for ways to become more effective with your time, the Pomodoro Technique is a super simple, yet useful time management technique you can try out.
I find this technique incredibly helpful during my workday. It reduces distractions, increases my efficiency, and helps me avoid burnout. Everyone has spent ‘all afternoon’ on a single assignment in the past and will admit that a good 40% of that time was not utilized as fully as it could.
It’s hard for you to focus on one specific task for too long, you get bored or burn out. If this sounds like your workday, be sure to read along!
What is the Pomodoro Technique?
The Pomodoro Technique was developed in the early 1990s by entrepreneur, Francisco Cirillo. Cirillo named the system “Pomodoro” after the tomato-shaped timer he used to track his work as a student.
The methodology is simple: When faced with any large task or series of tasks, break the work down into short, timed intervals (called “Pomodoros”) that are spaced out by short breaks.
This trains your brain to focus for short periods and with time it can help improve your attention span and concentration.
How does the technique work?
Luckily, it’s super simple. All you’ll need is a timer (ideally one that is not on your phone – we can get into all the distractions on your phone another time).
Here are the steps:
Step #1 – select a large task, or set of smaller tasks
Step #2 – set a timer for 25 minutes
Step #3 – complete a portion of the large task or one small task within the allotted 25-minute window
Step #4 – take a 5-minute break when the timer is up (this marks the completion of one Pomodoro)
Step #5 – repeat steps #1-4
Step #6 – after every four Pomodoro’s, take a longer break of 20 minutes or more.
What you’ll find, hopefully, is that adding a time structure around your tasks allows you to be more focused and productive within the allotted time window. Ultimately leading to you being more effective during your workday and freeing up more of your time for other things. Ah, that work-life balance!
Pomodoro Technique in my day!
I utilized this technique when writing this blog! Here’s the two-hour schedule of what I did:
Task: Blog Writing
25 minutes – Pomodoro Technique Blog – Writing
5 minutes – break
25 minutes – Sleep Hygiene – Writing
5 minutes – break
25 minutes – Pomodoro Technique, Grammarly check + upload!
5 minutes – break
25 minutes – Sleep Hygiene: Grammarly check + upload!
20 minutes – break!
Boom 2 blogs written, reviewed, upload in two hours! If you’re a quick writer or have done this for a while, that may be slow, but for me it’s great! When I first started writing blogs, I’d write and review them over many days, and in the process start 8 other blogs. I found if I wanted to get as much high-quality content out there, I needed a more focused approach, which is where the Pomodoro Technique stepped in!
Don’t get me wrong, some blogs still take me hours to write, but I can still utilize this technique in the process. My guess is since structuring my blog writing, I’m able to produce roughly twice as much content as I was with an unorganized approach.
It really makes a difference!
Pro-tip: if you haven’t already, download the Grammarly plugin!! It’s great for all types of writing – from blogs, to books to even simple emails to coworkers.
Try it out with one specific assignment or a set of smaller tasks that have just been sitting on your to-do list for ages.
When it comes to tasks I don’t particularly love doing, this is a great technique to crank through them. Knowing that I only have 25 minutes or so for any task makes me feel so much better about tackling it. I recently used this technique to get through some life budgeting, taxes, and general organization! It was great. It felt like time flew by.
Try it out, let me know what tasks you try it on and how it goes. You’ll be surprised how quickly that 25-minute timer goes and how quickly you start accomplishing that to-do list!