The Pomodoro technique is a great way to increase productivity. By investing in shorter work periods combined with quick breaks, you will be much more productive than if you were to spend long hours sitting behind your desk.
Currently, the majority of professionals spend too much time in front of their computers and smartphones, some even spend up to 10 hours a day seated and connected!
It has been proven that the best way to maintain strong productivity is to work in briefer concentrates combined with moments of rest. Why? As always, the answer lies within our brain.
Human beings have two ways of thinking: focused and diffused. While the former holds our attention, the latter helps us to relax and distract ourselves. While it may seem paradoxical, both forms of thinking are necessary.
Creativity arises from the connection of dissimilar parts, which only comes from the diffused mind. But of course, always being in a diffused state of mind is not valuable nor does it help solve problems. We need to alternate the focused and the diffused minds in order to be productive, which is why today we’re talking about the Pomodoro technique.
This concept was created in the 80’s by Francesco Cirillo and remains one of the world’s most popular time management techniques. Pomodoro, which means”tomato” in Italian, refers to the small kitchen clocks in with which cooking time is measured.
Ready, Set, Go!
To begin, you need a clock, smartphone or any method that allows you to measure 25-minute intervals in which you can put your focus towards your activities. The process is simple: for 25 minutes you must work without distractions, this block of time is called a “pomodoro”. When a pomodoro ends, you will have 5 minutes of rest.
After four pomodoros (or 100 minutes of work) have passed, you can have an additional 15-minute break where you can get up from your chair, walk around, or do whatever you need. What’s more, if you manage to finish with your project, why not give yourself a prize!
Despite the technique’s practicality, some people consider it too demanding. An alternative option is “pomodoro in partners”, where two people with the same objective utilize the technique, improving quality and creativity as well as fostering the sense of teamwork.
In addition to its ability to intensify and structure work while preventing interruptions, the Pomodoro technique gamifies work, making tasks more bearable.
For example, the completion of a pomodoro represents an objective fulfilled, which generates satisfaction. In the same vein, breaks can be seen as the reward for accomplishing each pomodoro.
Some tips for better results
Find out how long it takes to finish an activity by counting the time intervals. Do you need three pomodoros to finish an activity? Do you need two to answer your work emails?
Learn to protect the pomodoro. That is, don’t allow any external distractions to cause you to lose concentration. If it does happen, write down how many times throughout those 25 minutes you lost your concentration.
Within the 25 minutes of each pomodoro, include a few minutes to reflect and review what you’ve done. Once you know how many pomodoros each activity takes, organize your time, as you will know how long you need to complete it all.
After fulfilling the four previous objectives, try to achieve a personal goal. Improve your efficiency or the quality of the work you are doing. You can also create these goals around your free time by using it as a reward at the end.
The option of giving our brain small breaks both helps improve concentration and eliminates stress.
Now that you’ve learned a new technique, we invite you to put it to practice!