Ever wonder why it is so hard to focus, specially when we are writing? Why does time fly and it takes hours to complete a single project? What is the top secret to work effectively while maintaining focus and complete your project on time? Well there is a easy solution for all these problems, it is “THE POMODORO TECHNIQUE”.
Pronounced as /po.moˈdɔː.ro/ it is an Italian word for tomatoes, this word “Pomodoro” is named after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer.
The Pomodoro technique was developed by Francesco Cirillo in late 1980’s. It is an easy to use and effective time management technique.
A pomodoro timer set-up at 25 min alarm is what this technique is all about. The timer sounds the alarm after every 25 mins this means stop your activity! And relax. This technique is based upon the idea that regular breaks can improve mental agility.
The aim of the Pomodoro Technique is to provide a simple tool to enhance productivity, enhance focus and concentration, strengthen your determination to face complex situations, refine your work both quantitatively and qualitatively.
The key inspiration for the pomodoro technique was drawn from the idea of Time boxing and the cognitive techniques described by Tony Buzan.
The process of pomodoro consists of 5 stages; the first stage is to plan what to do throughout the whole day, second stage is tracking to gather the raw material/data to produce your content, the third stage is comes recording where you archive your daily observations, after these introductory stages comes the fourth stage, processing, where you put your observations, raw content, ideas and concepts to produce something phenomenal, in the fifth and last stage you should visualize whether anything needs to be edited or you want something to be explained the other way.
To execute the pomodoro technique efficiently all you need is a kitchen timer (or any timer with an alarm set for 25 mins), and that’s it!
Start the first pomodoro, set your timer to 25 mins and begin with your activity. One thing that should be kept in mind while working with the pomodoro timer is that whenever you are working whether you are alone or with someone, you should be able to see how much time is left. This will help you work under crunch situations.
Remember, a pomodoro should not be interrupted, that is all the interruptions whether internal or external should be avoided in order to achieve maximum concentration at your work. While working with pomodoro if you get interrupted, then restart the timer and start again.
When your pomodoro alarm rings, it shows that you have completed one cycle of the pomodoro. Now you have a 3-5 minutes break in which you can relax, walk, surf the web, drink water or do anything you like, but within this time limit. Once the break is over start the timer with another 25 minute interval.
After every four pomodoros take long break of 15-20 minutes, this is your leisure time, go have your coffee, check email, listen to your voice mails etc, it is recommended that any mental effort be avoided during this moment, this is to reduce mental pressure and stay determined to your goal.
The Pomodoro technique is marketed as a free tool to effectively utilise your time with simple methods while avoiding interruptions. As mentioned it is free, you should at least give it a try!
Want to be a certified pomodoro master? Well here are some objectives you need to clear.
1: Evaluate your activity/assignment/work with how many pomodoros you’ll need to complete to achieve your goal.
2: Learn to protect yourself from the internal and external interruptions in order to focus/concentrate at your dut. This will help you complete your work on time and will enhance your performance.
3: Use your pomodoro not just for completing your work, spend some minutes for recap and reviewing of your activity, this self check eliminates chances of error and increases creativity.
4: Set your pomodoro timer according to the time, for example: 3 pomodoros for morning and 2 for evening. Setting up your pomodoros like this will distribute the workload and increase efficiency.
5: Last but not least! The most important objective is to set your own objective. One example of this is reading your content again to improve the quality standards and eradicate faults.
Note: Do not skip any objective, if not completed first complete the objective and then move on.
According to the Harvard business view: When you work on a task continuously, it’s easy to lose focus and get lost in the weeds. In contrast, following a brief intermission, picking up where you left off forces you to take a few seconds to think globally about what you’re ultimately trying to achieve. It’s a practice that encourages us to stay mindful of our objectives.
We have discussed how important it is to take breaks. To some taking breaks feels guilty in office or other working environment.
Pomodoro technique is universally acclaimed. This method is used to save time and increase efficiency, but there are people who still think that it is ridiculous to take breaks during work. To those who have yet not examined this method, it is worth their time to at least give it a try.
This Italian originated time saving method is unorthodox and is used globally. The total time saved while writing this blog using the pomodoro technique was 30 minutes.