Distraction, procrastination and days when you can’t seem to find the focus are part of being human.
But the way you approach your workload can drastically reduce the amount of impact these things have on how you get the job done.
Enter: The Pomodoro Technique
The theory is that we undermine our own productivity by allowing ourselves to become distracted by the little things; a browse on Facebook here, a coffee break there – these things add up to a day full of procrastination and not much achievement.
The Pomodoro Technique demands 25 minutes of unbroken focus on the task at hand.
How to do it
- You set a timer for 25 minutes (in creator Francesco Cirillo’s case, he used a tomato-shaped egg timer, which is where the method gets its name – Pomodoro is Italian for tomato).
- Once 25 minutes is up, you make a tick mark on a piece of paper.
- If you have less than four marks, you take a quick, five-minute break to do whatever you like – get a cuppa, have a toilet break or stretch your legs – and then you plunge straight back into another 25 minutes of work.
- Once you have four tick marks on your piece of paper, you can reward yourself with a longer break of up to half an hour.
- After that, you erase all the tick marks and start again.
This has the effect of crystallising your focus while allowing for frequent enough breaks that you don’t lose concentration or become bored.
With the only requirements of this technique being a timer, a pencil and a piece of paper, what have you got to lose by trying it out for yourself?