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Time is the biggest enemy for many people.  We often find ourselves racing against the clock to meet our deadlines and complete our assignments, and it seems like we never have enough time. I am constantly on the quest to find ways to improve my productivity. Today I want to show you how to improve productivity by implementing the Pomodoro technique.

By using the Pomodoro technique, you can train yourself to work with time, rather than race against it. This is an exemplary technique for managing time that is extremely simple to learn and can change your life dramatically.

So, what are we waiting for? Let’s dive in and learn how we can make use of the Pomodoro technique to utilize our time to the fullest.

What Is The Pomodoro Technique?

Francesco Cirillo is credited for developing this life-changing technique for managing time, in the late 1980s. It utilizes a timer in order to divide the task into intervals, generally of 25 minutes each, with small breaks in between.

Each interval is known as a pomodoro, derived from the Italian language. Pomodoro refers to tomato in Italian and Cirillo made use of a tomato-shaped kitchen timer when he was studying in the University.

The Pomodoro technique is a famous and efficient time management hack which can greatly accelerate your productivity and keep you focused on your work for a long period of time. By using it, you can effectively manage the distractions and complete your task on time.

How Does the Pomodoro Technique Work?

This isn’t my video but it is very helpful in breaking this technique down very quickly!

Still interested in implementing the pomodoro technique (or at least giving it a try?). Here are the steps with a little more detail for you.

Plan

Devote 5 minutes daily to plan your entire day. During this time decide what tasks you will be doing throughout the day, how much time they should require and, using that value, calculate how many pomodoro sessions will be needed.

In order to be productive, you need to make realistic guesses of the amount of time needed for each task. 

Focus

In order to increase your productivity, it is important to manage your distractions effectively. Distractions are one of the main reasons for productivity loss throughout the day.

Distractions come in many forms but the most common are technology related including phone calls, social media alerts and even going down the rabbit hole during a Google search.

After tending to a distraction, it can take approximately 25 minutes to regain focus and get back on track. In order to manage your distractions effectively say goodbye to your social media, email, phone and politely ask your colleagues to come back at a more convenient time.

Work

Pick up a task from your task list, hit your play button on your app or set your timer and direct all your focus entirely towards the task for the next 25 minutes.

It is recommended that you keep each of your working sessions at 25 minutes each. You have to remember that a pause button does not exist and you need to work uninterrupted to achieve your goals.  

This can be the biggest obstacle to overcome but that is the whole reason the pomodoro technique works so well. You learn to overcome distractions and work consistently for a set period of time.

Short Break

After completing one 25-minute session, take a step away from your work desk for a maximum of 5 minutes.

During this time, relax and do not think about the task that you have completed in the last session, stretch a little, have some refreshment or use the restroom.

Repeat

One complete round of Pomodoro, in general, involves 4 sessions. When you start a session, choose a task from the to-do list and devote yourself to completing it during your session. Keep on repeating this practice until it becomes your habit.

Long Break

After you have completed 4 Pomodoro sessions, you reward yourself with a long break for 20 minutes.

During this time, take a step away from your desk, make your mind free from all work-related stuff, and get some food or drink.

If you are doing some mind taxing work or you are feeling exhausted, you can increase the frequency of your long breaks. However, do not try to make this your habit.

improve productivity with the pomodoro technique

Advantages of Using the Pomodoro Technique

After you have started using the Pomodoro technique, you will note that your productivity has been increased dramatically. Following are some of the advantages of implementing the Pomodoro technique:

  • Increased productivity
  • Better time management
  • Improvement in quality as well as quantity of work
  • Increased focus and motivation
  • Decreased exhaustion during work

How To Decide Whether I Need Pomodoro Technique?

Are you wondering whether or not you require the Pomodoro technique? One big clue that you DO need it is that you are reading this article looking for a productivity and time management solution.

I will make this easy for you. If you find yourself using the following phrases in your day to day life, believe me, you definitely need to try this amazing technique:

There Isn’t  Enough Time in the Day

This technique helps you finish your work on time and thereby, help you find some extra time for leisure as well. You won’t find yourself complaining about lack of time ever in your life again. You will discover that success lies in working with time, rather than fighting it.

You may never run out of things to do but at least by planning and scheduling them out, you will know when these items are scheduled to be completed.

Easily Distracted

The list of distractions in today’s world is increasing by the second. Social media swallows up our time and we do not even realize it. By making use of this technique of managing time, you will be able to keep your distractions under check and train your brain to focus completely on the task in hand. After finishing the work, you can engage in your distractions, stress-free.

I, personally, have found myself looking at my phone less often after using this technique consistently. In fact, I’ve uninstalled all the games. It is amazing how much you can get done when you eliminate just your phone as a distraction.

Feeling Exhausted and Uninspired

The Pomodoro technique promotes the habit of taking breaks which helps in cutting out boredom and keeps you fresh throughout the day. This will encourage your creative juices to flow uninterruptedly and you will be quick on your feet.

Struggle To Finish Work

If you struggle with finishing your work, you can definitely benefit from the Pomodoro technique. Since you break up your big tasks in smaller tasks and allot time periods for completing each task, you end up completing your goal without even realizing it.

Since your focus is undeterred, your quality of work will be excellent as well.

"The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule but to schedule your priorities." - Stephen Covey

Difficulty in Maintaining Work Life Balance

The Pomodoro technique promotes having a planning phase right at the beginning of the day, This works to ensure the setting of realistic goals. You plan out work and then can easily see where you will have time for fun.

Who Benefits from the Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro technique is an amazing hack for people working in different professions. You can even use it to complete your household chores in lesser time and even schedule some time for yourself as well.

Have a mountain of laundry to tackle? Is the kitchen a disaster? Set a 25 minute timer once a day to work on just that project. Knowing you only have to work on a problem area for a set time makes it less overwhelming.

Students can benefit from this technique as it helps them to maintain their focus throughout their study session. It is extensively used by consultants and freelancers for ensuring the quality of their work and ensuring its delivery on time.

Cons of Pomodoro Technique

Just like any other technique, the Pomodoro technique, too, is not free from cons. Some people have a belief that it is an all or none affair. Either you work continuously for 25 minutes to complete a portion of your task, or you do not complete a Pomodoro.

Since completing a certain portion of task is the measure of your success, when you fail in some of the attempts, you start shying away from getting yourself engaged in any activity.

Some people do not understand the need for a timer to keep you motivated and on toes. I’m hesitant to tell some of my friends that I use the pomodoro technique. They already think I am weird as it is. Since I have started using it though, my boss has definitely noticed an increase in my productivity and that is a good thing!

Conclusion

Although the process is not ideal for everyone, but then there exists no such program in the world that works for everyone. So, do not waste your time looking for hacks to manage time and start using the Pomodoro technique and experience how your life changes. You will be more productive, stress-free, climbing up the career ladder while making quality time for your family, friends and even for your long sforgotten hobbies.