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The Anti-Procrastination Remedy: The Pomodoro Technique

The Anti-Procrastination Remedy: The Pomodoro Technique

Are you constantly distracted by memes on Instagram, videos on YouTube or messages from your favorite channel on the Telegram? With the Pomodoro time management technique, you can become more productive and not stretch out the work for the whole day. What is this Pomodoro and how to use this tool – we tell in the material.

What is the essence of the Pomodoro technique?

Sometime in the distant 1980s, Italian student Francesco Cirillo got tired of spending a lot of time on homework. He wanted to finish the unpleasant business as soon as possible and go on to rest. And to work more efficiently, I decided to use a tomato-shaped timer (hence the name of the technique). The mechanism worked every 10 minutes, so the guy divided the university tasks so that he could spend no more than 10 minutes on one. And he noticed that in this way he really managed to do more.

Today, the details of the technique have changed somewhat, but the essence remains the same: work on tasks at intervals of 30 minutes, where 25 minutes are spent on work, and 5-10 minutes on rest. One such gap is called a “tomato”.

This is how the Pomodoro technique works now:

  1. You make a list of tasks to be completed during the day.
  2. Prioritize by forming a specific sequence of points in the plan.
  3. Start work. But first turn on the timer for 25 minutes.
  4. After 25 minutes, take a break for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Repeat this 4 times and after the last one take a break for 15-30 minutes. It could be a coffee break or lunch.
  6. And 4 more “tomatoes”, and again a big break. And so on during the whole working day or until you complete all the tasks. If you work on an 8-hour schedule, you will have 12-14 “tomatoes” and 3 long breaks.

How is the Pomodoro technique useful?

The main goal of the Pomodoro technique is to unlearn multitasking and constant distractions, to improve the skill of concentration on the important.

What else is the use of the technique:

  1. You are focused on one task , rather than switching between several. You know that in 25 minutes of productive work you will get 5-10 minutes of rest. You can finally reply to messages in instant messengers or do a little exercise.
  2. You get more done in less time. This is one of the most important principles of the Pomodoro technique. You are not looking for the twenty-fifth hour in a day, but are learning how to competently manage the 24th.
  3. You are more likely to achieve your goals. Of course, first they need to be posed, divided into parts (decomposed) and small tasks. And the Pomodoro technique will help you not to be distracted in the process.
  4. You will be able to effectively plan your day . Knowing how many resources are needed for which tasks in terms of volume, when planning, you are unlikely to add unnecessary things to the to-do list.
  5. You are not missing deadlines. Knowing your capabilities will help you set realistic deadlines and stop breaking them.

As a result, after implementing the Pomodoro technique, you will be able to work the same amount of time as always, but more effectively.

Who is the Pomodoro technique suitable for, and who will it only hinder

While this is a truly effective tool , it isn’t for everyone.

Who shouldn’t be guided by the Pomodoro principles:

  1. Those whose activities are associated with constant communication. These are administrators, secretaries, SMM-managers, technical service specialists, etc. It is not always realistic to predict at what point they will write to you, give you an urgent order or want to hold a Skype call.
  2. You are more productive in a flow state. This applies to creative professionals who find it more convenient to work non-stop for several hours and then rest. For such people, the Pomodoro technique looks like a punishment, not a way to improve efficiency.

This does not mean that such workers cannot be productive. They can, but at the expense of other tools.

And here is a list of those who should try to measure working hours in “tomatoes”:

  1. Your main tasks are routine, monotonous in content and scope. For example, you spend hours retouching a photo or adding new content to your site. If you already know how much time it takes for one standard task, it is easy to plan a work day in a “tomato” format, and it is convenient to stick to such a schedule.
  2. There is a minimum of communication in work processes. You have clear tasks to complete, you hardly need to communicate with the team, and sudden meetings are unlikely to be expected.
  3. You quickly lose concentration and tire of the routine. In this case, you most likely subconsciously tested the Pomodoro technique and took short breaks at more or less equal intervals. And this is the right way.

What else do you need to know about the Pomodoro technique?

You do not have to work with “tomatoes” for strictly 30 minutes

Start with such a scheme, since it is generally accepted, and then observe yourself and adapt for yourself. It is easy for someone to keep concentration for 40 minutes, while after 15 minutes, someone starts looking at the smartphone screen. Your task is not to strictly adhere to such standards, but to be effective, and for this you sometimes need to move away from general standards and develop your own. However, it is important that all your “tomatoes” are of the same duration. For example, 40 minutes, of which 30-35 minutes you work, and 5-10 minutes you rest.

Breaks are required!

Without them, the essence of technology is lost. Taking breaks allows you to provide the very change of activity that time management experts talk about, and not get tired so quickly. And if the duration of the “tomatoes” can be changed, then it is better not to experiment with the duration of the breaks. 5-10 minutes for rest is really enough.

There should be no mental stress during change

You need to set aside 5-10 minutes for something that does not require thought. Ideal – watch a new clip of your favorite group or a tape in social networks, drink coffee, dance.

If distracted, the timer is canceled and restarts from scratch

How else? But you will also pump up your discipline!🙂

Even if you are distracted, try not to break the “tomato” schedule

Is there something a colleague wants? Notify that you are doing an urgent task, and let me know when you can unsubscribe. Accordingly, after the end of the “tomato” do not forget to answer. Have an urgent, unplanned task? Quickly add it to the to-do list for the day, mark it somehow (with a color or symbol) and after the end of the actual “tomato” go to it.

If you finish a task before the timer beeps, do not take a break.

Better do some small business, answer a colleague, start doing the next task. It’s important to stick to a schedule.

Pomodoro planning services and applications

Of course, you can control your “tomato” schedule with an alarm clock or a timer on your phone. To do this, write down a plan in advance by the minute and set alarms on your phone every 25 and 5 minutes, and do not forget about long 15-30 minute breaks.

But it’s better to use ready-made applications and services that automate your schedule.

For Windows:

  • TeamViz;
  • Tomighty;
  • Keep Focused;
  • Pomodoro Timer.

For phone: 

  • Clockwork Tomato (Android);
  • Flat Tomato (iOS);
  • Pomodoro timer (Android);
  • Focus To-Do: Pomodoro Timer & To Do List (iOS);
  • Pomotodo (Android);
  • Forest (iOS, Android).

Browser extensions:

  • Tomato’Clock (for Google Chrome);
  • Pomodoro clock (for Mozilla Firefox);
  • Strict Workflow (for Google Chrome);
  • Pomodoro Todo (for Google Chrome).

Making friends with Pomodoro’s technique is easy. The main thing is to at least try and be prepared that the first time will be spent on adaptation. But the result is worth it.