How many pomodoros did it take for Amy to write this blog post?
My email and phone are off, I’ve got a brew and the tomato is counting down from 25 minutes. I’m going to see how long it takes me to write this blog post. I reckon I can get it finished within one Pomodoro but it may take two.
Confused? Then read on to learn all about managing your time and tasks using the Pomodoro Technique.
What is the Pomodoro Technique?
The Pomodoro Technique is all about breaking time down into intervals by using a timer. When Francesco Cirillo developed the method in the 1980’s he used a tomato shaped kitchen timer. Francesco is Italian, pomodoro is the Italian name for tomato and so the Pomodoro Technique was born.
My pomodoro timer
How does it work?
Basically you identify a task that you need to get done. This could be small or large, cleaning your flat or writing your essay for example. You then set a timer for 25 minutes and focus on the task for whole of that time – this is why I have switched my email and phone off, getting rid of interruptions and distractions is important.
[I’ve had 10 minutes already]
When the timer pings you have worked for one pomodoro and you get to take a short break, a few minutes to get up, stretch your legs, get some cake, put the washer on, you get the idea. You then return to your work, set the timer for another 25 minutes and focus on your task. Repeat the cycle until you have either completed the task (well done, I haven’t yet and I only have ten minutes left) or you have completed 4 pomodoros. You have now earned yourself a longer break of around 20 or 30 minutes. If you want to carry on with the task then begin the process again, or you may not have time to do any more right now as you need to get to a lecture or pick the kids up. Either way, you’ll have done some good work.
At the end of each pomodoro it is useful to spend a moment thinking about what you have achieved in the time. Are you surprise by how much you can get done when you really focus?
According to the Pomodoro Technique website the benefits of braking your task down like this include making time work for you; preventing burnout; reduce distractions and manage your work-life balance.
To learn more about it have a look on the Pomodoro Technique website. You can keep it simple as I have or you can become a Pomodoro master as you learn how much effort a task takes and how to cut down on interruptions.
Boom, time’s up. One pomodoro done. I’ll be back in 3 minutes…
…I’m back, the timer’s on and I feel ready to go again after taking the stairs to the top floor and back, a bit of physical activity is a good thing when working hard. I like how the timer interrupted me just as I was writing about cutting down on interruptions, I genuinely couldn’t have planned that better!
Actually there isn’t much more to say other than:
- Visit the Pomodoro Technique website to learn more about the technique
- Get yourself a timer
- Have a go
STOP THE CLOCK. I have 20 minutes of the second pomodoro left. I’m going to use this time to proof read the post, check my facts, paste it into WordPress, add some images, check the tags, keywords etc. and publish it. Basically, all those things that you need to do before a task is truly complete!
I’m off the clock now, how do I think it went?
It took two pomodoros to write the post and get it ready to publish. Over all I found it to be a productive way to get this task done, it actually bought an element of fun to it! I am pleased to be able to tick this task off but am surprised that it took two pomodoros to complete. I guess I need to keep using it to get a real measure of how long this type of task takes me.
I’m going to use it for other things so that I can develop an understanding what is reasonable to achieve in a day in terms of the time it takes but also in terms of my mental capacity to be working at my best. I actually found it hard to make myself stop after the first timer as I didn’t feel I needed to but I felt refreshed after a few minutes away from the computer so I can see the benefit of taking those short breaks. Overall, I like it. I think me and my clock are going to have a very fruitful relationship 😉