The Pomodoro Technique is a time-management practice invented by Francesco Cirillo, a late 1980s university student trying to improve his productivity while studying. He used a timer that looked like a tomato to measure how long he was working.
He found that when he focused intensely for 25 minutes and then took a short five-minute break, he got much more accomplished than if he worked nonstop for a longer time. The Italian word for tomato is Pomodoro; thus, the Pomodoro Technique was born.
How to Use This Productivity Enhancing Practice
Choose something you need to knock off of your to-do list. Minimize the number of distractions that are begging for your attention. Turn off notifications and the ringer on your phone. Shut down that Facebook tab and turn off any electronic displays in the immediate area.
Create the best possible environment for focused work. Then get started. Time yourself. You want to go without stopping for exactly 25 minutes. If you want to use the same type of timer the founder of this technique used, run a Google search for Pomodoro timers.
You can also use stopwatches, alarms, and timers on most smartphones, tablets, and computers. Get to work and don’t do anything that isn’t relevant to the task at hand. This is focused action. Don’t let any random thought into your mind. Give all of your attention and effort to what you’re doing.
When the time’s up, stop. Take a short break for five minutes. Walk away from your work environment and clear your mind. Get up, stretch your legs, move, and do anything but think about the task you were working on. Then repeat the process.
After your fourth session, take a longer 20-minute break and return totally refreshed.
If you have a bigger task, you can lengthen the times in this technique. Work for 50 minutes straight and then break for 10 minutes. Take a 15 to 30-minute break after two sessions.
Why the Pomodoro Technique Works to Improve Productivity and Efficiency
When you have a huge job, it sometimes seems daunting. You don’t know where to begin. What are you going to do first? You feel like you have so much to accomplish that your energy isn’t focused.
The Pomodoro technique doesn’t allow you to think about multiple things. Your energy and efforts are focused on one task, nothing else.
Your timer works where willpower doesn’t. You’re also not working for a long period where your performance and enthusiasm can falter. This is a proven process for getting more out of whatever time you have. It can help you make the most of your day, whether you use it for business or personal goals.