Pomodoro technique-extra boost to productivity
Would you also like some easily implemented tips and tricks to be able to increase your concentration and your productivity? Then just read on …
As you can see from some of my articles, there are numerous Time Management Techniques , all with the aim of using time more efficiently and thus to work more productively. Today I introduce you to a method that always goes down well with the participants in my seminars. I also use it frequently now, because I have found that I distract myself, or push unpleasant tasks away from me. So I have spent an hour or two at my desk without having done anything. This happens to me mostly when creating particularly difficult concepts, or rather „boring“ bookkeeping tasks. As a Professional Organiser I was of course immediately interested in a solution, and during my research I discovered the Pomodoro technique some time ago. Since a company has introduced „tomato time“ officially through a joint workshop and raves about the results, I would like to use that as an opportunity to talk about one of my favourite methods of increasing productivity.
The Pomodoro Technique
It was developed in the 1980s by the Italian Francesco Cirillo. Pomodoro is Italian and means Tomato. The name comes from the fact that for his technique Cirillo took an egg timer to help him, which was in the form of a tomato. Cirillo divided his work into work units of 25 minutes each – because his tomato clock was set to 25 minutes. Each unit of work is followed by a short 5 minute break. And after 4 working units follows a long break of 30 minutes.
For me, it was obvious that I could concentrate for 25 minutes. Also, it seemed to me very plausible – once I started with a task and if I could keep going for 25 minutes, it would not seem so unpleasant to me. And not to distract myself for 25 minutes should be manageable.
The technique consists of five steps:
- formulate the task in writing
- set the timer to 25 minutes
- work on the task until the alarm rings
- take a short break (5 minutes)
- after four ‚pomodori‘ take a longer break (15-20 minutes)
I followed this recommendation and was almost overwhelmed at how much I had achieved in the period of concentrated work. The productivity boost was obvious. Sure, I also wanted to keep strictly to the defined unit of work. The breaks are very important for successful application because we frequently overestimate our ability to concentrate. We give ourselves no rest, because we have not even achieved as much as we wanted. In fairness, of course, it is usually only because we got sidetracked or distracted ourselves. 😉
My recommendation: Before you start to implement this method, ask yourself what is preventing you from productive work. Mostly it is the so-called time eaters that creep into our everyday work. This includes any sort of unwanted interruptions and disturbances, such as phone calls, meetings, chats, or other distractions. With the Pomodoro technique it is about eliminating those time wasters to a large extent in one unit of work, so that you can dedicate 25 minutes undisturbed and in a concentrated way to that corresponding task. This sealing off – and it was only for one 25-minute unit of work – can probably be implemented in most cases.
Tools that have been developed for the Pomodoro technique
For working on a PC, perhaps a time measuring software is recommended. Such as for example „Focus Booster“, „Xoring“ or „Keep Focused“.
Incidentally, I’ve also tried it with an egg timer. But the ticking bothers me and hinders my concentration. But some clients told me that it was precisely the ticking that supports their concentration. Also there are sand clocks with 25-minute units.
I prefer an app that counts the completed tomatoes for as much as a full month. This gives me a good feeling. On iPhones there is for example a „PomodoroPro“ application.
So find out for yourself which time measurement is the best for you for the P-technique! And measure, or rather count, so that you can see success, and can look forward to it. This gives you energy to carry on.
I have now already recommended the Pomodoro technique to many clients and always get enthusiastic feedback. Everyone is amazed how much can be achieved in 25 minutes and then in the other 4 x 25.
In some of these companies they already talk about „tomato time“ ;-).
And one has even developed a software program in which employees set their tomatoes electronically and others can see if their colleague/colleague is currently having „tomato time“. And that means – disturbances not wanted!