The Pomodoro Technique is one of the most popular time management techniques. By now, you have probably heard people raving about how it has changed their life. So, why do so many people swear by this technique?
The answer is that the Pomodoro Technique has many different benefits, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, we should discuss what the technique is.
What is the Pomodoro Technique?
The Pomodoro Technique is a simple method for managing your workday. The basis of the technique is scheduling when you are going to work and when you will take a break.
The technique is based on the natural focus cycles of your brain. Work sessions are 25 minutes long, with a five-minute break afterward. This is called a Pomodoro, the Italian word for tomato. Why tomato? The technique’s name is inspired by tomato-shaped oven timers, a useful time-keeping tool from the pre-smartphone era.
The technique suggests you do four regular Pomodoros and then take a longer break of 15-20 minutes. These time frames are just a guideline, though. As you get comfortable with the method, you can adjust it to your workflow.
Pomodoro Technique Benefits
The Pomodoro Technique is different from other time management approaches because it hones in on how you are working – not what you’re working on.
While many methods for time management will help you be more organized and productive, the Pomodoro Technique does that and more.
Here are some ways that Pomodoro goes above and beyond for you:
Fight Procrastination With Pomodoro Technique
A survey found that 84% of people procrastinate, with a fifth of people procrastinating daily. This widespread issue often gets in the way of time management. You can plan the most productive day and prioritize tasks, but that’s not very helpful if you can’t get started.
The Pomodoro Technique makes it easy to fight procrastination.
This is because it addresses a variety of reasons why people procrastinate. If you struggle with ADHD, you will benefit from the structure of the technique. If you feel that you work best under pressure, you wait until the last minute to start a project; this can also be redirected with the Pomodoro technique.
Instead of feeling under the pressure of your final deadline, use the 25-minute work session as a substitute. If you feel intimidated by a large project, the Pomodoro Technique can help you focus on one component at a time.
It’s an easy fix to a stressful problem. There is a reason why it’s so popular!
Train Your Brain’s Focus
Practice makes perfect, and the same can be said for using the Pomodoro Technique. At the beginning of using this method, I was easily distracted. I couldn’t make it more than ten minutes before I reached for my phone. It was even worse when I was working from home.
Most of the time, I didn’t even realize I was getting distracted until my phone was unlocked and a social media app was already open. However, I continued to try and focus during the 25-minute work session and made it longer and longer without getting distracted.
For the first 2 weeks I have checked my phone every time 10 minutes into the Pomodoro.
After some practice, I can work in a focused flow for the whole of Pomodoro while working from home.
Meet All of Your Deadlines
No one ever wants to miss a deadline. You are often late on a deadline because you can’t manage your time properly.
With the Pomodoro Technique, you have a simple system that allows you to keep your time organized. By doing focused work during a Pomodoro, you can move efficiently through your to-do list.
These two elements work together to maximize your productivity and ensure you never miss a deadline again.
Stay on Top of Your Breaks
Have you ever told yourself you would take a short break, and suddenly a half-hour has passed?
The Pomodoro Technique keeps you from getting carried away with your breaks. Having this in mind, Pomodoro works great with team work and meetings! The five-minute break at the end of a Pomodoro is just enough time for you to come back to your work feeling fresh. Then, after you’ve gotten a lot of work done in four or five Pomodoros, you can take a longer break to recharge.
If you use the Pomodoro Technique, you don’t have to worry about losing track of time on your break. You don’t even have to decide how long your break should be. The technique sets it out for you; all you have to do is set your timer and get to work. It sounds like a good system, right?
Use Pomodoro to Reduce Fatigue
It’s hard to believe that too much work can be bad, but it’s true! When you work without taking a break, you can burn yourself out.
Fatigue and burnout go hand in hand, and both can be helped by making one small change in your day. This change is the five-minute break in the Pomodoro Technique.
This short break is timed perfectly with the 25-minute work session, arriving when you need it to. By taking these breaks often, your mind can get the rest it needs.
Studies have shown a natural cycle of the brain’s ability to focus. If you push yourself too far, you can tire yourself out. A little break goes a long way!
Make Tasks More Manageable
When starting a project, it is easy to think of it as one huge task. The whole project gets written on a to-do list instead of all the steps needed to complete it. This will leave you more lost than ever, and eventually, you will have to break the project into smaller tasks.
To start strong, use the Pomodoro Technique to divide your work into manageable pieces. You can do this by looking at the different components of your work and deciding what can be done in 25 minutes. Then you can start working through the different pieces one by one.
You give yourself clearer goals when you break down large tasks into smaller objectives. Because of this, you are more productive and less overwhelmed. This means you’ll work better and feel better. Feeling good about your work is just as important as getting it done. Wouldn’t you agree?
Keep Yourself Accountable
You do a lot during your workday, but do you know how much? How do you know if you’re on track or not? With no method for organization, you could be falling behind without knowing it.
By keeping a record of what you accomplish during a Pomodoro, you can see how you are doing on a given workday. When you have completed a Pomodoro, you can see if you are falling behind and readjust your priorities.
You are also able to see if you are ahead of schedule. If this is the case, you should be proud of yourself! It’s just as important to keep track of your successes.
Work Becomes a Game
If your only motivation for completing your work is because you have to do it, you can get bored quickly. One way to stay motivated is to turn your work into a game. There are two ways to do this:
Set three goals for your Pomodoro and try to complete them all in 25 minutes. Once you complete three of these goals, you can move on to the levels.
Set your timer for 25 minutes and try to set a new record for your work session, whether it’s the number of tasks completed, word count, or length of time you were able to focus. Spend each Pomodoro trying to beat your personal best.
By gamifying your work, every day will be a win!
Spend Less Time on Your Phone
Smartphones are the main source of wasted time at work. It’s easy to understand why – there will always be a text to reply to or a new video to watch.
The Pomodoro Technique will help you resist the temptation of your smartphone. If you are focused only on your work, you won’t check your phone as often.
An additional tip from my experience would be to remove your phone from your vision. I noticed that when we see the phone, even with our parallel vision, we are more likely to use it because our brain unconsciously thinks about it.
You won’t believe how much you can get done when you aren’t distracted by your phone!
Improve Your Time Estimation Skills
Hofstadter’s law states that doing something will always take longer than you think. This is even true if you take Hofstadter’s Law into account. The law is often referenced as a joke, but it does ring true.
If you want to improve your ability to predict how long a task will take, using the Pomodoro Technique is great practice as you learn what you can do in 25 minutes.
The misuse of the technique, when figuring out how long a project will take you to complete, you can split it into Pomodoros. This will give you a more accurate estimation, although it’s worth remembering Hofstadter’s law and throwing in a few extra Pomodoros.