Learn how to increase your productivity using the Pomodoro Method / Pomodoro Technique.
Life is busy! From waking up, showering, getting ready, making breakfast, going to work, commuting, making time for hobbies and side hustles, staying connected with friends and family, and just simply trying to keep your living space clean–it can be hard finding time to do everything.
If you have recently found yourself unable to make time for everything I want to introduce you to the ultimate time management and productivity booster: the Pomodoro Technique.
In today’s blog post I’ll be sharing with you how to use the Pomodoro Method to increase your productivity, so you can do more with less time.
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What is the Pomodoro Method?
The Pomodoro Method, also known as the Pomodoro Technique, is a time management method that was created by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s.
The thought behind the Pomodoro Method is that individuals can utilize the technique to work with time rather than against it. What that means is that instead of feeling like you have no time in the world to get everything done, you now take control of that time and use it to your advantage. It’s a mindset change.
Instead of thinking, “I can’t do that in 25-minutes” and go binge-watch a show on Netflix you go, “Let’s see what I can knock out in 25-minutes” and then you take the 25-minutes before you have to leave for work to knock out a task on your to-do list.
The Pomodoro Method is a way to break up your tasks, they can be either short or long tasks, into smaller chunks of time called pomodoros, which is Italian for tomato. You are given a short break–5 to 10 minutes–every time a pomodoro is completed. Think of it as interval training, but for your productivity.
During each pomodoro, your attention should be 110% on the task at hand. Your goal is to eliminate any distractions that would prevent you from completing your task such as your phone, computer, TV, etc.
You are to complete 4 pomodoros before taking a longer break (about 20-30 minutes) and then you start another round of 4 pomodoros.
In summary, the Pomodoro Method is as follows:
- Choose a task you want to get done.
- Work for 25-minutes (one Pomodoro)
- Take a short 5-10 minute break
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 four times
- Take a longer 20-30 minute break
- Do another 4 Pomodoros
What can I use the Pomodoro Method for?
Literally anything. I’m not kidding!
The Pomodoro Method is great for all kinds of tasks you need to get done. From reading a chapter from a textbook, studying for your next big exam, getting a project done at work, or even doing chores around the house–the Pomodoro can be customized to fit your lifestyle and to-do list.
Personally, the Pomodoro Method works best when I have a long task or when I want to try to accomplish many different tasks in a day that aren’t easily accomplished in 10 or fewer minutes.
Utilizing the Pomodoro Method for longer tasks
For longer tasks, like writing a paper or completing a multi-step project, the Pomodoro Method is great because it naturally breaks up your task into small chunks of time. As a result, the task seems less daunting than, “this task will take me 4 hours to complete!” And this is great for individuals with anxiety-induced procrastination, perfectionism, or ADHD.
Utilizing the Pomodoro Method for multiple tasks
In regards to trying to accomplish many tasks, if you have a lot of studying to do or have multiple hobbies or side hustles you want to tackle, the Pomodoro Method is a great strategy to get a little bit done with everything on your to-do list.
When I was in college, I would use the Pomodoro Method every time I would study. For each pomodoro, I would switch the subject I was studying or completing an assignment for.
For example, the first pomodoro I would work on studying for an English test, the second pomodoro I would work on calculus homework problems, the third a chapter of clinical psychology reading, and the fourth drafting my senior seminar paper.
Using the Pomodoro Method this way helped me feel super accomplished for the day and allowed me to attend to all of my classes with laser focus.
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How to implement the Pomodoro Method
The standard Pomodoro Method structures your work time, or pomodoro, into 4 rounds of 25 minutes of work and then a short 5-10 minute break. However, you do not have to stick with the standard Pomodoro Method.
As mentioned previously, you can modify the Pomodoro Method to fit your schedule and lifestyle. If you are just starting out with the Pomodoro Method, though, I would stick with 25 minutes of work and 5-10 minutes of break while you adjust to it.
As you become more accustomed to the Pomodoro Method, you can alter your work time and break time as needed.
Personally, I work for 30-45 minutes and take a 10-15 minute break when I use the Pomodoro Method.
While I am grinding through tasks using the Pomodoro Method, I also like to use a Pomodoro Tracker. A Pomodoro Tracker allows you to track how many Pomodoros you spent completing a task and motivate you to remain productive. It’s also so satisfying coloring in a box to signify that you have completed another Pomodoro.
Pomodoro Technique Apps
Nowadays, there are mobile and desktop apps and websites that allow you to set up a Pomodoro Method timer. My favorite is the Forest App ($1.99), which allows you to “grow” a tree or bush while you focus on your task for a set amount of time (between 10 to 120 minutes). I have used the Forest app religiously since my sophomore year of college!
While using the Forest app, if you pick up and use your phone while you are supposed to be focusing on a task then the tree or bush will die. As you “grow” more trees you earn coins that can be used to plant real trees by the organization, Trees for the Future.
However, if you do not want to pay for a Pomodoro Method app you can Google Pomodoro timer and find one for free.
The first three results when you Google “Pomodoro Timer” is, TomatoTimer, TomatoTimers, and PomoFocus. All three websites allow you to set up a Pomodoro Timer with work intervals, short break intervals, and long break intervals.
Alternatively, you could use a stop watch/timer on your phone or watch, a kitchen timer, the timer on the stove or microwave, or any time keeping device to implement the Pomodoro Method.
In conclusion on using the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Method is a life-changing time management method designed to maximize your productivity. It allows you to feel in control of your time even if it feels like a short amount of time at the surface level.
Honestly, until you truly sit down for 25-45 minutes to complete a task, you don’t realize how long and how much you can get done in 25-45 minutes. It’s really shocking what you are capable of doing in such a short amount of time!
If you want to change your life, change your relationship with time, and get more done then I highly recommend you trying the Pomodoro Method. So, if you’re ready to start using the Pomodoro Method, simply grab a timer and get going!
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