REPLAY:  Pomodoro Technique

Episode 28 | March 14, 2022

Need a little help staying focused and getting stuff done!

I wanted to share a simple technique I just learned about that helps me be more efficient, get more done with Zero Burn Out.

It’s so simple you probably won’t believe that it works!

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The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo. 

Frustrated by how much time he wasted while he was “studying”, he used a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato (a pomodoro) to increase his productivity.

The idea behind the concept is frequent breaks helps the brain to focus and increases mental agility & efficiency.  

Sooo, What is the Pomodoro Technique?

Basically, it involves working in 25 minute increments with a 5 minute break between each increment.   These intervals are called pomodoros.

After four “pomodoros”, there’s a longer 15-30 minute break. 

The Required Tools are:        Paper, Pen & a Timer

Keep in mind this was meant to be a very simple technique, no need to make it complicated or more than what it was intended to be.

1.      Pick a task to complete – To start, pick a task that you think you’ll be able to complete during one pomodoro.  

2.     Set the timer for 25 minutes

3.     Work on your task until the timer goes off – Whenever you think of something unrelated to the task at hand, write it down, forget about it and continue with your task.  

If you’re interrupted, record the interruption, and postpone it. You can answer that e-mail or return that call later.

4.    Check off your pomodoro – This will allow you to both log your work and feel a sense of accomplishment.

5.     Mark down how many times you got distracted during the pomodoro

6.    Take a 5 minute break – Get a drink, go for a walk, do whatever your brain needs to stop thinking about work.

7.     After every forth pomodoro, take a 15-30 minute break

Why This Technique Works

It Improves Your Focus

The technique gives you permission to postpone interruptions and to focus only on the task at hand.  

The frequent breaks give you a chance to recharge, so each time you sit down to work you’re ready to go. 

And because you’re only working in 25 minute increments, there’s no chance of burning out.

It’s Appealing

The thought of sitting down to eight hours of solid work is daunting & unpleasant.  

But sitting down to 25 minutes of work is much more approachable & less daunting.  This creates more motivation to start working and to keep going.

Sitting down to work on one specific task in 25-minute increments is much more palatable. 

If you know you just have to write and schedule one blog post or newsletter, you’re more likely to conquer the task and finish it than if you’re looking at an entire to-do list.

Rather than feeling like you have endless time to get things done and then ultimately squandering those hours on distractions or time suck tasks you know you only have 25 minutes to make as much progress as possible.

It Helps You Work Faster

Deadlines create motivation, we talked a little about that in Episode 6.  There’s nothing like a deadline to make you work faster.  The timer instills a sense of urgency.

Recording your work in this manner also makes you more aware of how long you truly spend on individual tasks. 

There’s less time for procrastination, and you complete your task with greater ease.

It Teaches You How You Work

This technique is not just about getting things done and crossing off your to do list.

It’s also about recording and analyzing your performance, so that you can adjust your approach, and work more efficiently in the future.

By recording how many times you get distracted, as well as the number of Pomodoro’s you complete, you can spot patterns in your productivity.  This gives you a better understanding of how long tasks truly take and adjust your time allowances going forward.

Be Patient

As with all new things, give yourself some grace while you learn how to move through the technique.

It’ll probably take a few tries before you notice any big changes in your productivity. 

And it could take a couple of weeks at least until you really get the swing it.

Stick To The Timer

If you’re supposed to be working, you should be working.  If it’s break time, take the break. 

Don’t cheat yourself, just follow the technique. 

Play With It

This is meant to be a tool that is helpful for you, not another “thing to do” 

If you find you simply cannot get past 20 minute working sessions, or you need 10 minute breaks between each increments – do that.  Make the system work for you.

Don’t write off a good system because you didn’t fit into it’s mold.  Use the concept to work for you.

Keep in mind this technique works great when the work you’re doing is your own. 

If you have meetings and calls scheduled, this might not be the best method. 

Knowing this you are able to adjust your schedule and apply the technique when you can.

Today’s Biggest Takeaway:

The Pomodoro Technique:  Focuses on small chunks of time to keep procrastination at bay.

Plan your work out in advance, break it down into small chunks and stick to your plan.

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