Sometimes all you need for effective time management is a kitchen clock. With the Pomodoro Technique, you can learn to work efficiently at intervals while skilfully bypassing distractions. Don’t give procrastination a chance.
In this post, you will learn how to use the Pomodoro technique to increase your productivity and why tomatoes are part of the recipe for success.
As a student, Francesco Cirillo had difficulty concentrating. To improve his time management, he used a kitchen clock in the shape of a tomato and developed the Pomodoro technique. According to Cirillo’s concept, 25-minute work intervals and an interposed break of 5 minutes are the recipe for success for long-term concentration.
What is Pomodoro Technique?
Cirillo divides the Pomodoro technique into five work steps in order to work through tasks in a concentrated and effective manner:
- Briefly (!) Write down the task,
- Set the timer to 25 minutes,
- concentrated work until the clock rings,
- check off completed task and
- take a relaxing break of 5 minutes.
- This rhythm is repeated four times.
After the fourth Pomodori interval (i.e. after four Pomodoro units, each consisting of a 25-minute work unit and a five-minute break), a longer break of around 20-30 minutes is taken to recharge your batteries.
The specific setting of the intervals in different minute units is intended to improve the ability to concentrate. With this help, disruptive factors can be eliminated while working.
How does the Pomodoro method work?
Below you will find 12 hacks that will help you to improve your own time management with the Pomodoro technique and to train your self-discipline and motivation in a targeted manner:
1. Visualization and prioritization
Before starting your first work interval, you should put your assignments on paper. Writing down a to-do list helps visualize your specific daily goals. At the same time, the various tasks can be prioritized in terms of their importance. Large tasks can be broken down into sub-tasks in order to get a more precise overview.
2. Plan resources
After you have summarized your tasks in a to-do list, you can estimate how long it will take you to complete the individual tasks. In this way you can then check whether the calculation of your working time is paying off or whether you have underestimated or overestimated things to do.
3. Don’t forget to tick off
The sense of achievement is an important motivation in time management. By checking off tasks from your list, you free your mind and create a sense of relief. It helps you to work more focused on the following task without thinking about things that you have to do additionally.
4. Use breaks properly
After 25 minutes of work, the inventor of the Pomodoro technique recommends taking a short break of three to five minutes. This time should actually be used for relaxation and not filled with supposedly small tasks such as e-mails or customer calls. By giving your brain a short period of regeneration, you increase your performance.
The alternation of concentration and relaxation ensures in the long term that you can better control your impulses and thus increase your productivity.
5. Individualize time intervals
Of course, 25 minutes is not appropriate for all types of work. For example, if you are working on comprehensive reporting or the drafting of a graphic, longer intervals may be necessary. If the timer rings after 25 minutes for demanding tasks, you will feel more disturbed than relieved.
However, we recommend 25 minutes to get started. This interval has also been confirmed in practice. However, the technology is not set in stone and can be adapted to your personal needs.
6. Initiate your team
In the office in particular, talkative colleagues, email notifications or constant customer calls can affect concentration. In order to curb this, you can integrate notes into your everyday office life that signal to other employees that you want to concentrate at the moment.
To do this, place a previously determined object on your desk, for example a colorful figure. If you have previously told your team that this figure shows a running Pomodori interval, you can expect fewer interruptions.
7. The right pomodoro timer: It doesn’t have to be a tomato
Of course, your measuring device for the intervals does not have to be an egg timer, let alone be in the shape of a tomato.
Options for your Pomodoro timer are:
Timer on the smartphone,
an ordinary alarm clock.
It is important here that the type of watch is not a disruptive factor for you. If the ticking of the alarm clock makes you nervous or the smartphone timer seduces you to check your messages, then you should reconsider the choice of your device.