What is the Pomodoro Technique?
The “Pomodoro technique” is a management methodology developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980’s. It a nutshell is focusing 25 minutes at a time on a single task in order to get the todo list’s jobs from done. Pomodoro means “tomato” in Italian and it was inspired by a tomato-shaped kitchen timer used by Francesco to track his time.
Why use Pomodoro?
Because already more than 2 million people have already used it to transform their lives, making them more focused and more productive. This technique allows you to focus on one task at a time and not getting distracted by everything else that is happening in your life. Being focus rather than reactive.
How does it work?
#1. Split the tasks you work each day into short 25-minute parts (‘pomodoros’) and focus your attention on what needs to be done for only a task, manage distractions better. All you need is a pen, a piece of paper and a kitchen timer.
If you are not alone in your office, maybe it will be disruptive to have a kitchen timer and you should consider an online version (or a mobile version). The online version that I use in my browser is from tomato-timer.com
#2. While working on a longer task, between those ‘pomodoros’ use small 5 min breaks to help your ability to concentrate on the task.
The breaks allow you to return to the task with fresh eyes. And it also stops procrastination as you’re working in short bursts and stops the tasks feeling overwhelming.
It also helps you estimate the duration of the tasks that you want to get done. On my downloadable version of Pomodoro sheet, you can see the Effort column. This will help me improve my estimates for future similar tasks.
It’s important to complete a Pomodoro before taking a break. Ideally, if you remember that you need to do something, stop for a second and add that task on the Pomodoro Sheet, and keep on working on the initial task. If you are forced to stop what you’re working on in the middle of the Pomodoro, you just don’t record it.
#3. After 4 Pomodors, you should take a longer break (10-30 minute).
#4. Repeat the process until the task is completed.
I also use a Priority method that I’ve got from Bryan Tracey’s book “Eat the frog!” to ensure that I will focus on the most important tasks and make sure those get done.
Each task will get a letter A, B, C, D followed by a number (from 0-9) to know the order of the tasks that I need to work on.
“A” = very important (something you must do)
“B” – “important (something you should do)
“C” – nice to do (less important than A or B tasks)
“D” – “Delegate”
“E” – “eliminate” (whenever possible).
So, for example, an A0 task is more important than an A1 task and it has to be done first.
How to measure the Pomodoro technique?
If you want to use the template that I’ve develop, click the link to download it.
Over to you
Do you use this technique? Or what other tools or best practices do you use to be more productive?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Dorin, your friendly web strategist