What is the Pomodoro Technique
Created in the 80s by Francesco Cirillo the Pomodoro Technique is a time time management strategy that aims to make you more productive by breaking down tasks into manageable chunks.
Quite simply you work for 25 minutes (pomodoro) and have a 5 minute break, after you have completed four pomodoros you take a longer break, usually between 15 and 20 minutes.
Who should use the Pomodoro Technique, is it for everyone?
I came across the technique by accident when I was looking for ways to improve the way that I studied when completing an HND in Business Management.
I don’t believe that it’s a technique that fits seamlessly with a 9 to 5 job as distractions will result in broken pomorodo’s, such as meetings, taking calls, queries from colleagues, and this is why I believe the following will benefit from the technique more so than others.
As I’ve already mentioned, I came across the technique when trying to find out how I could improve my learning experience.
I’m now looking at learning to code and the technique is perfect in enabling me to digest the complexities of the subject.
Writers / Bloggers
Anyone that writes will know that sometimes it can be difficult to come up with ideas and putting pen to paper or fingers on keys just as hard.
I use the technique when I write, because it puts me into a miniature zone.
I don’t try seek perfection, just ideas on a page that I can go over again in another pomodoro..
I’ll admit I’m a procrastinator and can sometimes get bored easily.
The thought of having to do tasks that might take an hour or longer isn’t appealing.
In breaking down that task into internals, it doesn’t seem so bad and actually makes me get the job done quicker than should I try and tackle a task in one go.
Why would you want to use the technique?
School wasn’t a pleasant experience, I worked hard but didn’t really do anything spectacular in my exams, mainly down to the fact that 1) I wasn’t interested in the subjects or the way that they were taught and 2) the lessons went on for what seemed like forever and a day, compounded by the fact that some where double lessons.
Anyone that has sat in lessons for an hour or longer being taught a subject that they either had no interest in or didn’t understand will know that impact that this can have on your learning experience. Your mind drifts and the likelihood of you actually remembering anything is minimal.
In using the Pomodoro Technique you are challenging not only the way that you are taught in school, which unfortunately doesn’t fit the way that everyone learns but also that maybe what you thought you didn’t enjoy was merely as a consequence of the fact that you didn’t really understand the subject.
It keeps you focused in small intervals
If you don’t understand something straight away, why would you spend hours at a time trying to understand it and frustrating yourself?
Breaking any task into manageable intervals allows for focus on that task for 25 minutes without distraction or your mind wandering.
Allows you to get into a 25 minute zone
Some might disagree with the stop start method of the technique, but for me it allows me to get into a zone for a short burst then have a break to restart again.
Allows you to absorb complex information
Learning anything new doesn’t come easy to everyone, but in using the technique I find that I’m not trying to understand everything straight away, but rather trying to digest those 25 minutes. If I don’t understand something I can recap in another 25 minute burst.
Do you need any special app or equipment?
In reality all you need is your timer on your phone or a manual timer but for me the point of using the technique is to check and improve my productivity.
Essentially they both do the same thing, time your productivity and give you a graphical representation but the benefit of Be Focused is that it allows you to see a breakdown of your chosen tasks where Focus Keeper only allows you to see how many pomodoros you have completed.
How to get the best out of the Pomodoro Technique.
- Remove all distractions, turn your phone, TV and music off
- Set up your workstation with productivity in mind (I have a 2 monitor setup)
- Follow the method. It might be tempting to continue when that alarm sounds
Are there any negatives to the Pomodoro Technique?
Can come across as quite rigid
Breaking down a task into 25 minute intervals and having to have a break after five can seem counter intuitive to getting into the flow of things
The not a technique that works seamlessly in every occasion
Like I’ve already said, I have my doubts as to whether this could be used in a usual work environment where distractions are guaranteed.
Therefore it’s probably only beneficial to those that have the ability to lock themselves away and have that time uninterrupted.
Does it work?
I believe that used in certain situations the technique does work.
I’ve often spent 25 minutes on a task for me to only feel that it isn’t really sinking in but find within my 5 minute break my mind is subconsciously working on the task and while I might not completely understand what I’ve previously completed it has improved slightly.
Benefits of the Pomodoro Technique?
- Decreases procrastination
- Focuses the mind on the task at hand
- Makes you more productive
- Can become habit forming
Would I recommend it
Yes I would.
What is the worst that could happen if you gave it a try? You don’t get on with it and try something else. On the other hand you might find that it works like magic for you and your productivity increases more than you imagined.
Have you used the technique? if you did, would you use it again?