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Productivity 101: The Pomodoro Technique

With technology and distractions surrounding us every minute in the form of notifications and social media from the moment we wake up till we go to sleep. It becomes difficult to maintain focus and deliver good results.

I introduce to you the pomodoro technique; a very simple but effective time management method which aims to maximise productivity through focused sessions of work. I work in fast paced high-pressure environments where there is constant demand to deliver. This technique has been revolutionary in transforming the way I work to yield better quality outputs on time.

By using this technique, you work in blocks of 25 minutes after which you reward yourself by taking a break for 5 minutes. Each 25-minute session is referred to as a pomodoro. Pomodoro is a cyclical system, by working in these sport sprints, it helps to make sure you are consistently productive. Taking regular breaks help boost your motivation and keeps you creative.

6-steps to implement pomodoro technique

  1. Decide on the task

  2. Set a timer for 25 minutes

  3. Work on the task with zero distractions (put your phone on do not disturb)

  4. End session. Mark task as done

  5. Take a break of 3-5 minutes (I usually go for 5) then move onto the next task

  6. Complete four Pomodoro’s then take a longer break of 20-25 mins.

The longer breaks can be used for your lunch, gym session, catch up on your phone or even a power nap! You can tailor the breaks to whatever is best for you; short breaks between 3-5 minutes. Long breaks between 15-30 minutes.

The technique also forces you to shield of from all distractions and demands you complete the task at hand. It’s important to note that a pomodoro is an indivisible unit of work – that means if you’re distracted during the session by a co-worker or emergency, you either have to end the pomodoro there or you have to postpone the distraction until the pomodoro is complete. If you can do the latter, there is a strategy for that.

  1. Inform the distracting party that you are working on something

  2. Negotiate a time when you are able to get back to them in a timely manner

  3. Schedule the follow-up immediately

  4. Call back the person when your pomodoro is complete and you are able to tackle the issue

This is just one technique you can use, it may or may not work for you. It works for me because I always like to have a plan. It’s also a good tool to help you evaluate how you are spending your time.

Download the printable worksheet that I put together (click image below) and give it a go. Let me know how you find it. Feel free to share any other productivity tools and techniques you use in the comment section below.

R x


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