Are you having a hard time focusing when working at home? You’re not the only one. Studies find that 69% of people burn out when working at home with poor time management methods. Does that mean that this relatively new concept doesn’t work for at-home jobs? Not at all! It just means that you might need to learn the Pomodoro technique work from home concept to improve your overall productivity.
Italian Francesco Cirillo created this concept to improve his productivity and time management. Since its development in the 1980s, it has become a prevalent time management tool that works for many situations. For example, you can use the Pomodoro technique for studying and when working from home. Here’s what you need to know.
How Can You Use the Pomodoro Technique While Working From Home?
The Pomodoro technique uses a simple time-based method that splits your day into work and rest periods. The traditional way is the 25-5 option or 25 minutes of work followed by 5 minutes of break time. Cirillo used a simple timer to track this time, which you can automatically reset. Traditionally, users often integrate a tomato-shaped clock for reasons we’ll reveal a bit later on in this article.
Here’s the fundamental way you utilize this technique at home and why this technique will work for you as well:
You set your timer for 25 minutes and work on writing reports, planning for meetings, answering emails, and much more. Stay focused on each task but immediately stop working when your alarm goes off. Don’t finish what you’re doing or put off taking your break! Instead, you need to quit right away and set the timer for five minutes. During this break, step away from the desk and do anything else but work. In an at-home job, you should have plenty you can do during this five-minute break.
Once your five minutes are up, go back to work for another 25 minutes and repeat the process. After you’ve worked for four 25-minute periods (called Pomodoro intervals), you can take a more extended break. Depending on your preference, you can break for either 15-30 minutes. Let’s say you choose 30 minutes. If you break that up between your Pomodoros, that’s 100 minutes of work and 50 minutes of breaks.
Multiply both those amounts by four (equivalent to a nine-hour day, and you get 400 minutes (or six hours and 40 minutes) of work and 200 minutes (or three hours and 20 minutes) of break time. That means you spend two-thirds of your day concentrated on work and one-third resting. This method works perfectly for an at-home job because you can easily set your hours and productivity.
Why Should You Use the Pomodoro Technique While Working From Home?
So, why exactly would you want to use this method at home? One of the biggest reasons for burnout is people not taking the time to take a break when working at home. They may then work too hard and burn out too fast. However, the Pomodoro techniques improve your focus by giving you a time frame for your work, increasing your attention before moving on to your break.
Even better, the Pomodoro technique lets you know it’s time to take a break to refresh your mind. You can grab a bite to eat, refill your water bottle, check up on your dog, or just take a brisk walk around the house. While short, those five minutes can be a fantastic way to refresh.
For example, pulling yourself away from your desk might give you a fresh perspective on a challenging task. Sometimes, taking a break like this will kickstart your mind and provide the solution. It’s like when you remember something hours after you forgot it: your mind relaxes, and the information comes.
Even better, these breaks give you a way to categorize your day. For example, when working in 25-minute blocks, you know you always have a break coming up soon. So if the 25-5 technique doesn’t work, you can try 45-15, 50-10, 60-20, or other methods that make more sense for your working methods.
5 Ways Pomodoro Technique Increases Your Productivity While Working From Home
You get various benefits when you master the Pomodoro technique for working at home. These advantages may occur with some Pomodoro technique alternatives, though the original concept still provides the broadest array of boosts to productivity.
Just a few of the most common benefits of Pomodoro technique use include the five concepts outlined below:
1. You Learn How to Focus for a Long Time
Focusing for a long time isn’t always easy for most people. Some may find their focus drifting after 10 minutes, particularly when multitasking. However, the Pomodoro technique forces you to focus by pushing your work into bite-sized segments. As a result, you can slowly learn how to focus on your work tasks for longer without stressing yourself out or needing longer breaks.
Example: You set your Pomodoro timer and start working right away on your task. Knowing that you don’t have a lot of time to waste, you focus entirely on it until the timer goes off. After your five-minute break is up, you get right back to work and feel comfortable focusing on it for a long time. This benefit is huge and can ensure that you feel comfortable planning your day properly.
2. You Master Estimating Time
When you’re timing your day out so precisely with the Pomodoro technique, you get a pretty good grasp on how long it takes you to finish something. While this information vary based on external elements, you can typically get a pretty good idea of how long you need for duty, which will make it easier to plan out your day and avoid complications as a result.
Example: Through the Pomodoro technique, you discover that it takes you about 20 minutes to answer your email every morning. You can start planning your Pomodoro units around this factor and others, including taking 30 minutes to brainstorm for new emails, 15 minutes to finish a phone call, and one hour (or two Pomodoro periods) to complete a lengthy report to your boss.
“Perfectionism prevents action. Waiting until you have devised the perfect solution to something is merely a form of procrastination.” ― Staffan Noteberg
3. You Stop Multitasking Your Day
Multitasking is an everyday activity in most work environments but often becomes essential when working at home. But did you know that multitasking robs your mental powers and eliminates your focus? It’s true! Thankfully, the Pomodoro technique helps this situation by making it virtually impossible to multitask on anything, even if you wanted to start multitasking, the fundamental rules of Pomodoro don’t let you.
Example: Just as you’re getting into the mix of things at work, your 25-minute pass and you take a five-minute break. After catching a smoke or making a call, you get right back to work on the task at which you’d started. You simply do not have enough time to multitask with the Pomodoro technique but, instead, finish your tasks with the best focus possible for your needs.
Fun Fact About Pomodoro Technique
Do you know why they called this technique Pomodoro when the creator was named Cirillo? When he came up with this option, he used a tomato-shaped alarm to time himself. Tomato is Pomodoro in Italian, and the name stuck. What a weird reason for a name!
4. You Get Time to Handle Tasks
You probably have a pretty busy home that often becomes distracting while you’re working. The Pomodoro technique lets you handle these tasks during your brief time off. This may help to avoid getting bunched up at the end of the day and struggling to handle laundry and other daily tasks that may otherwise be put off too long.
Example: Your dishes are piling up, and you need to get them cleaned before guests arrive. With the Pomodoro technique, you can use your five-minute breaks to load the dishwasher, unload it, and continue this process until your dishes are done. The little break may also give you time to attack your following tasks with higher energy and avoid feeling down about them.
5. You Refresh Your Mind a Little
Do you know what happens when you work too hard for too long? You end up getting tired and may end up burning out early. As a result, your work quality is likely to plummet, and you might end up getting in trouble with your employer. Using the Pomodoro technique while working at home helps you avoid fatigue and distraction by giving you little breaks in between your day that refresh your mind.
Example: You’re working on an important task that will take you all day. Rather than constantly working and burning yourself out, you use the Pomodoro technique and get a brief refresher after you work for 25 minutes. You can use that five minutes to get a drink, exercise, or simply get a breath of fresh air outside. That time might not seem huge, but the break will feel great!
It should be clear that the Pomodoro technique can provide many benefits when working from home. If you’re interested in the Pomodoro technique work from the home method, you should try it out today or reach out to us to learn more about how you can integrate it into your day.