You’re forced to attend two-hour meetings, you’re behind on a plethora of projects and your to-do list just seems to be expanding every day.
With so much to do and so little time to spare, the most natural solution would be to eat lunch at your desk and work some serious overtime, right? Although it’s extremely common to do this, there may be a better way. Enter the Pomodoro Technique.
The birth of the Pomodoro Technique
Back in the 1980s, a man named Francesco Cirillo came up with a simple time management method called the Pomodoro Technique. Rather than working continuously throughout the day, Cirillo recommends that we work in short and sniper-focussed bursts. In particular, the Pomodoro Technique breaks up our time into 25-minute cycles of work and 5-minute cycles of rest in between. These cycles of work and rest are called “pomodori” and after four pomodori have been completed, a longer rest of 15 to 30 minutes is taken.
The idea is one of quality over quantity - we can be more efficient and effective when we completely focus on completing the task at hand, even if it's only for a short amount of time. In a way, the “burst” nature of the Pomodoro Technique resembles that of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training).
The benefits of the Pomodoro Technique
While the Pomodoro Technique may seem like a tool which you would use just to manage your time better, the benefits extend beyond just that. It:
● Helps you to complete tasks faster
● Increases your ability to focus
● Refreshes your mind and body all throughout the day
● Keeps you motivated
● Boosts your creativity
How to use the Pomodoro Technique
Using the Pomodoro Technique in your life is extremely simple as all you need to do is follow these steps:
1. Remove all external distractions such as social media, mobile phones and email notifications
2. Choose a task to be accomplished
3. Set your timer to 25 minutes
4. Work on the task until the timer rings
5. Take a short break of around 5 minutes
6. Take a longer break of 15-30 minutes every 4 Pomodoris
7. See how many Pomodoris you can do in one day and then try to beat it
Make it simple with Pomodoro apps
Rather than manually using a timer, there are a range of apps available to download for free on iTunes and Google Play. These apps will automatically ring when you hit the 25-minute mark and then ring again once your 5-minute rest is up. If, for whatever reason, you’d like to increase the length of your work and rest periods, you can do that too.
While the Pomodoro Technique may not be for everyone, it provides a framework to approaching your tasks in a way that can improve your work and study habits while factoring in your health! In addition, the emphasis on focussing on the task at hand is becoming increasingly important given that we have more and more distractions such as Facebook and WhatsApp pulling us for our time today.
Try it out and let us know how you feel!