Many people have heard about the Pomodoro Technique, but how much do you know about it? If you use the technique often, you will know the basics by heart: 25 minutes of work, a 5-minute break, rinse and repeat. You will also know from first-hand experience that using the technique produces great results – but have you ever wondered why?
Here are three research-backed reasons why the Pomodoro Technique is so effective.
Pomodoro Works with Your Brain’s Natural Tendencies
Have you ever been in a great workflow but found that your mind started to wander after a while? There’s no need to be hard on yourself for this.
It’s natural to lose your focus after working for some time.
Your brain limits how much-focused work it can do before it needs a break. It naturally works in a cycle of ‘pulse and pause.’ It can make sprints of work but then needs to rest. This cycle is what makes the Pomodoro Technique work so well!
When you use the Pomodoro Technique, you take advantage of the pulse and pause cycle. You work for a 25-minute pulse’ and rest for a 5-minute break.’
Working this way allows your brain to recoup so you can head into your next work session with a clear, ready mind. But what if you get to the end of your work session and still feel motivated?
While starting with 25 minutes of work and a 5-minute break is recommended to get comfortable with the technique, you can set smaller time intervals for the work part and longer breaks.
After some experience, you can adjust the times to suit your natural pulse and pause cycle. You may also find that 25 minutes of work is perfect for you!
For me, the recommended times work great now. But at first, it was a bit difficult. Soon you learn to focus better, and seeing the progress is very motivating! Now I don’t adjust them at all. In the end, it’s all about finding your best workflow.
Visual Reminders Keep You Focused
Research has found that seeing something is the best way to remind yourself. This is called a reminder-through association. An example would be placing a letter you need to mail beside your keys, reminding you to grab the letter on your way out of the house.
Another example is the timer you use in the Pomodoro Technique.
The timer for your Pomodoro does more than let you know how much time you have left to work. If you get distracted, it acts as a cue to get back to your task. How does this work? Think about this scenario:
You set your timer on your phone and put it on the side of your desk. After working for a few minutes, you hear a notification buzz. When you check your phone, you see that your timer is still going for your Pomodoro. Great to keep you focused if you work from home!
Instead of checking the notification, you think, ‘Right! I’m supposed to be working or ‘Right! I’m supposed to be studying.’ Either way, you know that you will be able to check the notification on your break, so you return to work. Pomodoro is great for students, as they tend to lose their focus a bit more.
In this situation, the visual of the timer is connected to the need to focus on work. This is one of the Pomodoro Technique’s hidden benefits. If you don’t believe it now, keep it in mind the next time you use the Pomodoro Technique. Once you notice it, it’s hard to forget!
It Keeps You from Multitasking
When faced with a long to-do list, doing multiple things can be the most efficient way to get it all done. However, research has shown that multitasking is not effective or even truly possible.
Your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. What we call multitasking is more accurately described as task-switching. Research has found that 40% of your productivity is wasted when switching tasks. Your time could be much better spent working on one task until it is completed.
This is where the Pomodoro Technique comes in.
Pomodoro is great for focus but is also an incredible planning tool. Planning out your Pomodoros makes working on one thing at a time easy.
This is because you know exactly what you will work on and how long you will work on it. You do not need to worry about your other tasks because you have a system that works.
The Pomodoro Technique saves you a lot of stress and time! That’s the mark of a great time management technique.
The Pomodoro Technique is there to work with you. You can take advantage of its customizability or stick with its ready-to-use structure. While you are working, it keeps you focused by curbing distractions and eliminating multitasking. These components work together to make the Pomodoro Technique the successful, efficient tool you can’t live without!