A lot of people seem to recently be asking, does the Pomodoro method actually help you to be more productive? In this article, we will find out. I want to go over what exactly the Pomodoro method is, how you can implement it and does it actually work.
Is it going to help you to be more productive? Alright so first thing first. So, what exactly is the Pomodoro method and where does that name come from? Well pomodoro is the Italian word for tomato. In Italy, a popular type of kitchen timer is in the shape of a tomato. That’s the history or the origin of the name.
Now the Pomodoro method really involves some very simple steps. It basically involves grabbing a timer – yes, you could use something as simple as your smartphone – then setting a determined period of time in which you are going to focus. That’s right, you are going to focus exclusively on this single task or project. Then, when that timer goes off you take a short break.
I personally find that if I spend a long period of time, like more than 50 minutes, I will not get the best results. However when I am working with short time periods and taking shorter breaks, I find myself more productive and I can focus on my work clearly.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to say goodbye to that task but at least re-evaluate where you are in your day. Does that particular project need a little more time? Or should you be moving onto something else? The great thing about the Pomodoro method is that you can use it for almost anything.
You will find that it is way more than just project work. I know some people use it in remote team management. You can also use the Pomodoro method when you’re dealing with emails, which is something that I use the Pomodoro method with quite often.
Let me give you an example. What I have found when I have experimented with other time management strategies, is that many of us set out and plan to only spend a little amount of time handling email. However, you would agree that there’s a big difference between just spending 20 minutes with email and 20 focused minutes with email when you’re going to do nothing however email and processing your inbox. To make sure that I don’t spend most of my day in my inbox, I will use a timer to set a limit.
You will find that a traditional Pomodoro duration is 25 minutes. Setting a timer for 25 minutes and working exclusively until the timer goes off. however, you don’t have to restrict yourself to just 25 minutes. I find during my own workday, I will often set the timer twice that length 50 minutes especially when I’m working in the morning.
During the morning hours is when I have a greater amount of energy and I want to accomplish a lot more before I break for lunch. So I’ll often set my timer for 50 minutes and then also follow that by taking a somewhat longer break. You may want to spend some time and experiment with what is the ideal time for you and adjust that time, depending on the activity or the project that you’re engaged with.
If you are a manager or leader in your work, you may want to improve your employee’s time management skills by giving this technique a go as well.
Perhaps you don’t want to use your smartphone because when you’re doing focused work you like to put this on mute or maybe put it away completely. Maybe you also don’t want to install another application on your computer. Well there are other devices that you may find helpful.
Look online and you will find timers and clocks that are designed purely to work with the Pomodoro method. I know an Australian small business coach who swears by them.
You don’t have to be searching for a separate app or doing something additional on your computer. Yes it does make it a bit of a uni-tasker. It is basically only a timer and a stopwatch however once you’ve found the duration that works for you, all you have to do is press a single button.
Obviously, you will find that the Pomodoro method is not really ideal for every single thing you do in your life. However, when you need that focus when you need to block out other distractions that’s where you will find that the Pomodoro method can be so helpful.
Remember being productive does not need to be difficult. In fact, it’s as simple as setting a timer.