Time Management Techniques for Success – the Pomodoro Technique
Do you ever feel like a task that should be easy enough to complete ends up taking you an entire day? Do the last few pieces of the To-Do List bleed over into the morning the next day? We’ve talked about the importance of productivity before, and now it’s time to do a deep dive on one of the most popular time management techniques out there: The Pomodoro method. Welcome back to the MoneySoft blog, set your timer and let’s focus!
Time Management Techniques – Principles of Pomodoro
The First Twist of the Tomato
In the late 1980s, a young university student was struggling to get more done. (Don’t we all?) On the hunt to maximize his productivity, he turned to the old kitchen timer he had on hand and put it to work, twisting it up and diving back into his studies with hyperfocus knowing that the timer would go off and then he could breathe.
Through numerous iterations, tasks, and trial and error that young man, Francesco Cirillo developed his strategy and named it after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer he built it around: the Pomodoro (Italian for tomato) Technique.
The Foundation of Pomodoro Time Management
There are six steps that make up the Pomodoro method.
- Decide on the task you need to get done.
- Set a timer for 25 minutes.
- Work on that task with hyperfocus until the timer rings. You got this, it’s only 25 minutes!
- When the timer rings, keep a tally. You’ve completed a block of uninterrupted focus time!
- Take a short break of about 5 minutes. Go back to step 2 until you have four tallies.
- Every 4 chunks of time, or Pomodoros, take a longer break of 15-30 minutes, then back up to step 1.
The Goals of Pomodoro
There are also six key objectives to the Pomodoro time management techniques. Through constant use and practice you’re able to accomplish:
- Find out how much effort a task will require
As you complete tasks using the technique you’ll see how many blocks of time it took you to complete it.
- Cut down on distractions
With practice, you will get better and better at ignoring interruptions. During your first block you might still answer that phone call (‘It might be important!’ you say) but as you practice more and better your focus you’ll see just how little 25 minutes is. You can wait to check your emails, and social media really doesn’t need your attention at all.
- Better estimate the effort and time for future tasks
As you keep it up, you’ll have a much better idea for how long tasks will take you in the future.
- Make your Pomodoro time more effective
You may have started off with 25 minutes of focus and hard work but as you strive to improve you may find it more beneficial to spend a few minutes at the start reviewing previous work.
- Set up time tables
With your better estimates in hand, you can begin building out time tables to clearly define work and free time. In addition to motivating you to complete tasks in that set time, it also allows you to enjoy your free time without stressing about what more you could be doing. Sounds nice right?
- Create your own objectives
Make it your own. You have mastered this time management technique, now shift to creating your objectives and leveraging the Pomodoro method to reach it.
Do I Need to Use the Tomato?
While there are numerous apps out there that you can use, sometimes low tech is the way to go!
There’s some evidence out there for why using a physical timer like the Pomodoro can be more effective than a digital one. The physical manipulation of the timer reflects the user’s determination to work on the task, as the timer ticks it works as a constant reminder to complete the task and when it finally rings it signals clearly a break. These kinds of physical stimuli have been linked with better states of flow and focus, as they habitual nature signals to your brain what is about to be required, what it will soon accomplish.
This is just one of the many time management techniques out there, and as we here at MoneySoft continue putting out helpful information we are sure to take closer looks at more. But productivity is only half the battle! Sometimes you need better tools to get the jobs done right. Get in touch with us and see what MoneySoft can do for your business!