Improving Focus and Productivity Using the Pomodoro Technique
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Have you ever gotten to the end of your day and while you’ve completed tasks, you don’t feel you accomplished what you set out to do? Are you’re working hard at a list of tasks that you’re trying to finish but you’re not able to give 100%? Do you have no idea where time has gone and you have nothing to showcase your work? Do you procrastinate? Do you lose time in your day scrolling social media feeds, your inbox or YouTube? There may be a solution that could help you. The Pomodoro Technique and it could transform your life.
To solve the problems mentioned above, The Pomodoro technique was born and used by Successful People like Steven Sande, Natalie Sisson, Hayden Miyamoto, Tim Ferriss and many more.
The Pomodoro Technique is a framework which is designed to provide time management recipes and hence improving your focus and productivity.
But how? Let’s understand the process. Firstly, list down all the tasks which need to be addressed. Once done, follow the steps below:
- Pick a task from the list.
- Focus for the next 25 mins. Work closely with little or zero distractions and no breaks. Pomodoro teaches to manage distractions. List any distractions that arise in this step.
- Once 25 minutes ends, take a 5 min break. Relax, clear your mind and come back after 5 mins.
- Repeat it 4 times.
- By the end of 4 iterations, the total time spent is 2 hours. Out of which, 1 hour 40 mins go to quality work and 20 mins to breaks. Note down all the progress that you made until now.
- After the 4th iteration, take a long break of 15 – 25 mins and come back to restart from point 1
Note: A long break could be used for lunch in between.
So What Just Happened?
25-minute blocks are called Pomodoro sessions and it’s the core of this technique. Work is divided into smaller sprints. Due to shorter sprint cycles, any tasks (small or big) becomes more manageable, the brain gets trained to focus and eventually helps to make quality progress.
Generally, an 8-hour workday gives us room for sixteen Pomodoro sessions. Tasks which takes less than one Pomodoro sessions can be combined with other tasks.
Note: Do keep some Pomodoro sessions as a buffer. In case any task takes up more time than available in a Pomodoro session, then you can break down that task into smaller units.
Pomodoro sessions are strictly designed and should only be used for work, reading, or for any constructive activity and not for leisure time. If a task is completed and you have a few minutes to spare during a session, then utilise it carefully by improving your skills.
What Is the Expected Result(s)?
The Pomodoro technique gives you a clear measurement of your time vs. effort because it plans your day more accurately and efficiently. And with time, a more accurate assessment of Pomodoro sessions will be developed and hence you have built a consistent work habit.
Pomodoro Hacks: Timer App and Playlist
There are a lot of tools available for Pomodoro. I personally use Pomofocus. This tool enhances focus and manages your tasks more effectively.
Here’s a Spotify Playlist to utilise the Pomodoro technique. 4 cycles of 25 minutes of focus LoFi music followed by 5 minutes of vocal tracks for a break. At the end of the playlist, take a 30-minute break.
Programming, Project and Start-up/Company Management
Quite often we miss deadlines. It can be an important project for you or for a company or for a start-up who is going through a hyper-growth phase. It’s become very important to wrap-up project work by the scheduled timelines. Any further delay can hamper you, a project or a company.
Missing deadlines is not a new thing and a lot of solutions has been designed to tackle it. To improve productivity, Pomodoro is one of the solutions that can boost project management and it’s delivery. For example, by dedicating one or two Pomodoro sessions for meetings and the rest for completing tasks.
The Pomodoro Technique breaks down tasks into smaller chunks and helps to do more with less. It simplifies your life and unclutters your mind and the technique can become a part of your routine if you follow it consistently. It’s free, so you can tweak it to your schedule.
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Previously published at https://boxpiper.com/posts/the-pomodoro-technique-why-what-how-productivity-worksheet/