Productivity

How to Master Your Time with the Pomodoro Technique?

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Why is it important to care about time management? There is a truth called Parkinson’s Law: work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

It’s about the more time you “give” your project, the longer you’ll take to complete it.  If you have a week deadline, you’ll probably take the full week to do it.

Setting strict deadlines with yourself and having a ticking clock in the background as you work on each task is the best way to combat this Parkinson’s law. This will help you to be more productive and get more time that can be spent doing the fun things in life.

Create a plan for important tasks and work on each with a completely focused mindset instead of randomly working on projects. Pomodoro Technique will assist you to get the best results!

 

What is the Pomodoro technique?

The Pomodoro Technique is probably one of the easiest productivity methods. All you’ll need to implement it is a timer. Beyond that, there are no special apps, tools or tutorials required.

 

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The Pomodoro Technique is the method that teaches to work with time, instead of struggling against it.

This revolutionary time management system helps you power through distractions and hyper-focus, getting things done in short bursts with frequent breaks to come up for relaxing.

 

What is the history of the method?

The method was invented in 1987 by Francesco Cirillo to help procrastinators and the perennially distracted. Actually, it is a simple system to boost personal productivity.

The main idea of the methodology is rather simple: if you face any large task or series of tasks, just break the work down into short timed intervals (25 min) that are spaced out by short breaks. These intervals are called “pomodoros”. After 4 pomodoros, you take a longer break of 15-20 minutes.

This method trains your brain to focus for short periods and assists you to stay on top of deadlines or constantly-refilling inboxes.

This is a cyclical system: you work in short sprints that make sure you’re consistently productive. You also have regular breaks that keep your motivation and creativity.

The timer instills a sense of urgency. Instead of feeling like you have endless time in the workday to get things done, you know you have just 25 minutes to make as much progress on a task as possible. And the forced breaks help to cure that burnt-out feeling people experience toward the end of the day.

 

6 steps to apply the Pomodoro to your work

There are 6 steps to apply the Pomodoro Technique:

  1. Choose a task you want to get done. It’s important to choose a task that deserves your full and undivided attention.
  2. Set the Pomodoro (timer) for 25 minutes. Try to spend exactly 25 minutes on this task and not to interrupt yourself.
  3. Work until your Pomodoro rings. Dive into the task for the next 25 minutes. If you suddenly realize you have something else you need to do, write the task down on a sheet of paper.
  4. Put a checkmark on a paper when your Pomodoro rings.
  5. Take a short break to relax. Grab a cup of coffee, go for a walk or do something else to make your brains relax.
  6. Take a longer break every 4 pomodoros. You can take a longer break after you’ve completed four pomodoros. 20 or 30 minutes should be enough. Your brain will use this time to assimilate new information and rest before the next round.

Since you have only a timer as the only Pomodoro tool, you can get started with any timer app or clock. You may also use one of the following Pomodoro apps that offer more features than a simple timer offers:

  • Pomodorable (for OS X) combines a Pomodoro timer and a to-do app. Here you may find many visual cues when your tasks are complete and what you have coming up next. Also, you can estimate how many pomodoros you’ll need to complete a task, and then track your progress.
  • Simple Pomodoro (for Android) is a free timer with a minimal aesthetic. You just need to tap to start the timer and get to work and take breaks when your the alarm goes off. The app integrates with Google Tasks.
  • Focus Timer (for iOS, ex PomodoroPro) is a feature-rich timer for iPhone and iPad. With its help, you may customize work and break durations, review work history and easily see how much time is left in your work session. The app even offers a star-based rating system to keep you motivated.
  • Foces booster (for iOS, Android) Based on the Pomodoro technique, the service empowers you to maintain focus and manage distractions. Stay focused and fresh to get more done.
  • Tomighty (for Win/Mac/Linux) known as a cross-platform desktop Pomodoro timer. You can also easily use it to customize your work and break periods.
  • Marinara Timer (web) is an app that allows you to select your timer alerts so you know when to take a break, or reconfigure the work times and break times to suit you.

 

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How the Pomodoro technique may change your team

In the time-poor environment, it’s normal to want to regain some control over your day, that’s why the Pomodoro method as the simple management method looks like a proven solution.

Using the technique, companies have an opportunity to develop a shared set of practices that protect their teams from the frequent and aggressive pressures of time. They simply transform this pressure into the opportunity to improve.

Applying the technique, you can:

  • handle interruptions and minimize mistakes due to lack of concentration.
  • reduce the length and number of meetings
  • minimize estimation errors
  • be able to simplify and organize tasks
  • improve motivation
  • understand the effort a task will take and reduce the complexity of tasks
  • meet deadlines without time pressure
  • share with team members the same point of view about what to do
  • create an effective team timetable without bottlenecks and interruptions.
  • avoid complex, unmanageable and unreachable goals
  • optimize the interaction between team members

The Pomodoro is often popular among developers, designers, and other people who have to turn out regular packages of creative work. People who have to actually produce something to be reviewed by others.

The method can be also useful for people who don’t have such rigid goals or packages of work. If you create things or work with your hands, the frequent breaks will give you the opportunity to step back and review what you’re doing and think about your next steps. The system is remarkably adaptable to different kinds of work.

What do you think about the Pomodoro method? Have you tried it for increasing your productivity? Please, share your experience.

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