Managing your time each day is a skill to master. Many people struggle with time management because they haven’t practiced it enough as a skill. One way to do that is by trying the Pomodoro technique. Is the Pomodoro technique effective? You may have tried it out. A lot of people have used it, and it’s been very helpful in getting things done.
If you’ve tried this technique, it may work well for you. But if not, you might think about not wanting to do it again. But I would challenge you to reconsider trying it out. The problem is that some people don’t use it properly to see maximum results.
What is the Pomodoro technique?
The Pomodoro technique is a basic time management approach to getting work done. A Pomodoro (another name for a tomato) comes in the form of a tomato-shaped timer and is broken down into four separate time periods.
Developed by Francisco Cirillo, you use the timer to work on one task in a 25-minute period. After your 25 minutes is up, you take a five-minute break. You then work for 25 minutes, followed by a five-minute for three more periods.
After four periods of working, you take a 15-30 minute break. Having a longer break allows you to freshen your mind after working on one task for a good hour.
What I like about it is you focus on only one task during a short time period. After working for a long time, your brain gets tired and might start to wander off. That’s where the short break comes in hand, which helps freshen your mind.
Since I find the Pomodoro technique helpful, I will lay out five reasons why it’s effective when working on any task.
Reduces distractions & interruptions
During the time you’re working on a task, you’re better equipped with not having anything nearby. Some of these things include the following:
- Putting away your phone in another room- I think this one helps. You should leave your phone somewhere far away while you’re working on a task
- Use distraction-free apps on your web browser if working on a laptop. There are several apps out there. I recommend trying out the Freedom app.
When I put all of these things away, all I’ll have at my workstation is a pen and paper, and be in front of a desktop/laptop. Having fewer things around will help reduce common distractions.
Feel more focused
When you commit to doing one specific task in 25 minutes, you don’t have to worry about multitasking. Even multitasking is not the best way to get things done faster. I think it slows you down while working on more than one task.
When you’re more focused, it helps you work on a task faster, while staying efficient as well. Being distracted by switching to one task or more can slow you down a lot. In that case, you may not feel as focused if there’s more than one task involved.
Helps with working on your priorities
Prioritizing your tasks is crucial to working efficiently. Using the Pomodoro technique can get you straight to doing the work.
When you get set to doing this task (while having your timer on hand), you’re already one step ahead. Staying committed to your priorities means getting them done first before doing other tasks. When it comes to what you need to get done first, maintain focus on your priorities.
Assists with working on smaller tasks for a big project
Oftentimes, people feel overwhelmed or stressed about doing a big project. Instead of trying to do it all in one hour, why not break it down into smaller tasks?
Doing it in this process helps make working on a project much easier. Completing one task at a time can help you get through specific steps of a project, without feeling overwhelmed.
If you know a project will take a few days to complete, breaking it down into smaller tasks will make it more manageable. Using the Pomodoro technique helps when working on smaller tasks (being part of a big project).
Your mind feels more refreshed after short breaks
Even though you’re taking five-minute breaks in between, your mind benefits from getting quick refreshers. Even after 25 minutes or more, our minds can start to wander and get distracted.
Based on a study conducted a few years ago, we often lose focus and wander after about 45 minutes of working. After that period, our mind starts to wander off on other things.
With the Pomodoro technique, breaking work down into 25-minute periods helps make us more focused. If you’re someone who likes to work under pressure, the Pomodoro technique can put you up for a challenge.
Especially when needing to get stuff done, we should aim for shorter work periods. Shorter breaks are easier to take when working for shorter periods.
My experience using the Pomodoro technique
I’ve tried the Pomodoro technique multiple times, and it’s all about focusing on my priorities. Whether that be writing an article, or preparing for an important meeting, using this technique has helped me manage my time better.
However, there have been times I got distracted during sessions. What frustrated me was having to start over again, even if I switched or moved on to a task I was not planning on doing.
Also, every now and then I’ll take longer breaks than anticipated. So that’s why it’s important to follow the strict time frame for you to see results.
This technique works best if you follow it step by step. If you work four 25-minute periods, followed by three 5-minute breaks and one 15-30 minute break, you’ll get work done for sure.
Will it work for you?
So will the technique work for you? To be honest, it all depends on your effort and desire to take action.
If you have a “get things done” mentality rather than trying to be perfect, the Pomodoro technique can work well in your favor. When you need to get things done, work in shorter time periods for great results.
So to answer the question from the post title, the Pomodoro technique works well if you follow it correctly. If you find that it gets easier to work on simple (or daunting) tasks, you’re on the right track.
As I mentioned earlier, some of the things I do to help me get things done include:
- Putting my phone away into another room
- Have nothing on my desk except for a pen and paper, and usually a laptop to do work (the bonus is having a distraction-free browser on you computer)
- Use an app such as the Freedom app- again, check out the review I wrote on it not too long ago.
Your Turn: Do you think it’s effective?
I would like to know your thoughts on the Pomodoro technique? Have you tried it before? If so, what do you like about it?
If you’re not convinced, why hasn’t it worked well in managing your time? Is there another alternative or method you use instead?
Feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below. I look forward to reading them, and I’m glad to answer any questions you may have.
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Eric is the owner and chief editor of notimekillers.com. He takes great pride in helping people manage their time and grow their businesses. Eric is a firm believer in financial and time freedom, as he believes in financial independence and taking ownership of your time. “Time is your most important asset. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. How you use your time can shape the future you desire to have.” In his leisure time, Eric loves to write and read whenever possible. He enjoys going for long walks outdoors while doing in-home workout videos every week. You can also connect with Eric via LinkedIn.