25/5: How effective is the pomodoro technique?
Many of us can struggle to create structure within the working week, especially when it comes to distractions and having a focused mind. However, there are techniques to help with this. This article focuses on the effectiveness of the pomodoro technique and explains 5 ways it can help you increase your productivity.
Do you ever find yourself wandering off the task you are trying to focus on? Like when you’re in the middle of something and then get a distraction such as an email or notification before coming back to your original task only to find that you forgot what it was you were doing?
Do you feel you need help on how to focus and plan your time effectively? If so, the Pomodoro Technique may be the thing you are looking for.
The technique starts off with you picking one task you wish to accomplish by using a timer of some kind (e.g., phone, watch, microwave) to help separate tasks and focus on a single task continuously for 25 minutes. This would be followed by a rest break of 5 minutes which can be a good opportunity to re-charge, go to the bathroom or get a cup of tea (or hot beverage of your choice). Then, re-set the 25-minute timer and return to work.
After doing this cycle 4 times, you may want a longer break of 20-30 minutes to recharge and consequently gain focus and the energy to continue working on your tasks. This will also allow you to do something longer in your break such as eating a meal, socialising with friends and family, or going for a walk.
So how can this technique help you?
Here are 5 ways the pomodoro technique can help you with productivity
Reduce Distraction and Increase Concentration
This technique works best when there are no other distractions present, such as checking emails, checking social media, answering phone calls or housework tasks.
When doing this you can use apps such as Focus or the ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature on your phone, to silence notifications and focus solely on one task. This can feel difficult at first but can be liberating and increase your mental clarity.
Due to the pressure and urgency of the time limit, our mind is less likely to wander or spend time scrolling down social media so it can be a fantastic way to reduce the time spent being unproductive.
Break Down Bigger Tasks
It also helps to break down Bigger Tasks, for example if you have a big work project due that feels overwhelming and impossible to start, you could start to break down the sections to set realistic goals for your pomodoro cycles. These tasks will then feel more achievable and increase your motivation to succeed throughout the day.
Businesses have also adapted this method for themselves to track project progress and accountability of team members. This can be a great way for team members to be held accountable for where their time is going and increase effective task management across businesses.
If you are completing multiple smaller tasks throughout the 25 minutes, you could use an up such as Toggl, which helps you track the time you are spending on each task throughout the day and can use this for your information when planning.
Allow for more effective planning
By using this technique, you will start to recognise how long tasks will take, especially repetitive tasks, and be able to plan accordingly for these tasks. This will allow you to organise your time based on the priority and length of tasks on your to-do list. To find out more about how to make plans you can stick to check out my other blog post here.
Complete Tasks (Done is better than perfect)
The focus of the Pomodoro technique is to complete tasks, and the tasks completed do not have to be perfect as there will be time to edit and revise the document later. This can help with productivity, especially if you struggle with a perfectionist mindset, as it allows us to stop spending lots of time trying to get the task perfect, rather than focusing on completing it.
Frequently Asked Questions on the Pomodoro Technique
Question 1: What are the 5 steps in the Pomodoro Technique?
There are 5 tasks to complete a full pomodoro cycle:
Step 1: Pick your task and total time you would like to work on the task. If this falls into multiple sessions, this is okay.
Step 2: Set a time for 25 minutes.
Step 3: Work on the task continuously for 25 minutes
Step 4: Take a 5-minute break to re-charge.
Step 5: Repeat as many times as necessary. After 4 cycles of 25/5, take a longer break of 20-30 minutes.
Following these 5 steps will allow you to master the technique and increase your productivity as
Question 2: What should you do in a 5 minute Pomodoro break?
You can do anything that will recharge your energy. You can stretch your legs, make yourself a hot beverage of your choice or use the time to prepare for your next 25 minutes.
Question 3: Why is the Pomodoro Technique 25 minutes?
The founder of the Pomodoro Technique researched that 25 minute is the perfect time to help people not procrastinate or get distracted, and instead allows them to be productive and creates a sense of urgency to help you stay focused on the tasks that you are completing.
Question 4: What tasks can you use the Pomodoro Technique for?
You can use the Pomodoro Technique in any office environment, with studying or if you are finding it difficult to manage those everyday life tasks that haven’t been completed. If you find that you have smaller tasks, these can be grouped together for one 25-minute session. For example, read an article, arrange a doctor’s appointment and contacting a client could all be grouped into one session.
All this information can be overwhelming but there are sites, charities, and people out there to help. Why not book a quick and free consultation with me, a life coach and therapist, and together we can work through an action plan to help you manage your to-do list and explore ways to increase productivity.