Amazing productivity with the Pomodoro technique
Have you ever felt the struggle of not finishing work you know you should be doing? Or do you feel you are not as productive as you could be? Then I suggest you give the Pomodoro technique a try.
This technique works well for overcoming the first resistance that most feel at the start of a task. Furthermore, it also works with the knowledge of how attention works. As this study suggests prolonged attention to a single task can hinder the performance of that task. By changing things up now and then (by having a short break for instance) we can keep our performance high.
The Pomodoro technique is an input-based technique meaning that you know exactly the end of the task, namely a 25-minute window. In comparison to an output-based technique, where the end of the task is when you achieve a certain output. Working with an input-based technique could make you feel less stressed. Since with an output-based technique, the work required to achieve the output is not always clear therefore the path and length of the task will be unclear. With the Pomodoro technique, you are certain that the task ends after 25 minutes and you can take your well-deserved break.
The Pomodoro technique
1.Choose a specific task
2.Work on this task for 25 minutes.
3.When something distracts you write this down on a piece of paper to save it for later.
4.Once the timer goes off take a 5-minute break
5.Repeat until done or until repeated 3 times. After 3 times you can take a longer break. After the long break, start the process again.
One specific task
Choosing a specific task you are going to work on is super important when wanting to achieve absolute focus. Make sure that before you start you get rid of all distractions. Only the things you need for the task, a timer, and a pen and paper should remain.
25-minute work session
For the 25-minute work session, it is vital to put on a timer. If you don’t do this your mind is likely to wander off to how much time remains, whilst you should be working on your task. Instead of a timer, you could also choose to put on some music for 25 minutes. This can be set in Spotify or you can put on something on youtube and scroll the timeline forward until there are only 25 minutes remaining. Now you know that when the music ends it is time for a break.
When choosing music as a timer I advise classical music. If you do want any other type of music, at least make sure it has an easy rhythm without any singing. A song with lyrics could cause you to sing along and as a result, you could lose your train of thought.
Writing down your distractions gets them out of your mind without “losing” them. By putting them on a piece of paper you can always revisit them later. Besides this, it also severs the connection between the craving for the distraction and the action you take to go get that distraction. Doing this over-and-over builds the focus muscle and enables you to resist distraction. When the timer goes off or the music stops, you can enjoy a nice 5-minute break. During this break, you can do whatever you want to do.
Not everyone is the same or works the same. Therefore, I challenge you to experiment with the time intervals. Find the interval that works best for you. Maybe you work better on a schedule like Elon Musk who presumably works on tasks for only 5 minutes. Whatever works for you and your productivity!