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Today, we’re talking about one of my favorite topics, time management. There are so many different techniques that can be used to use effective time management that you can’t possibly use them all.
We’re going to cover one of my fan favorites and that is the Pomodoro technique. We’re going to talk a little bit about the history of how this got created, who it will actually work for some execution tips on how you can use the Pomodoro technique and method, and then some advantages and disadvantages.
So stick around and let’s see if we can get your time under Control.
YouTube of Pomodoro
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History of Pomodoro Technique
So the history of Pomodoro. This particular time management technique was created back in the 1980s by a gentleman named Francesco Cirillo. Francesco, at the time, was going to college.
And like most college students, he was a little overwhelmed with all of his coursework, and he needed to figure out how he could use the time to his benefit for studying and getting all the things done that he needed to do to be successful in college.
So when he did his, he created the Pomodoro technique in which he started out by just doing 10 minutes of study time at a once.
So this actually evolved and eventually became what is known as the Pomodoro technique today. So we’ll talk about how to use that in just a little bit.
Who is this for?
It works for those who often find themselves working past their optimal productivity. So that time when your brain starts to get foggy and you just aren’t sure what you’re doing anymore, this technique works great for people who often find themselves in that situation.
It also works really well for those who find themselves being distracted by things. So maybe it’s the kids at home. Maybe it’s, you know, people calling them up because they’re staying at home, um, workers. It could be any number of distractions that get in the way of you making progress. So if you find that you are distracted often, this might be a technique that would work great for you.
And then this also works really, really well for anybody who has open ended work. So if they have to do studying a research, learning a specific topic where you could go literally on and on forever and never actually end your time, you have to be able to put in some healthy boundaries. And this particular time management technique is a great for doing that.
So what do you need in order to use this technique?
It’s really easy. All you need are three things, paper, something to write with. I prefer a pen, pencils, crayons, colored pencils, any of that would work and a timer.
Execution of the Pomodoro Method
There are six steps to successfully implementing the Pomodoro technique.
- You need to decide on a task that you want to complete. So this is great. If you have a big to-do list and have lots of different things, pick a task off that list.
- You set a timer for 25 minutes.
- Then, you get to work. So those are the first three steps of the Pomodoro technique.
- After 25 minutes is up, and that timer goes off. You’re going to stop working on the task that you had decided to do. You add a check Mark to your piece of paper that you’re tracking your Pomodoro technique on. And then, if you have less than four checkmarks on your piece of paper, you’re going to take a short break to rejuvenate your brain just a little bit.
They often recommend at least five minutes. You could go a little bit longer if you wanted to, or if time allows or even three minutes if it’s just a quick walk, start some laundry, or grab a glass of water.
- So then you’re in what you’re going to do to is start over again with step 1.
- Once you get to a situation where you have more than four checkmarks, you’re going to take a long break. So that could be maybe time for lunch, maybe time to grab a snack, read a chapter of a book. Get that longer break in aiming for about 30 minutes.
And then if you have an entire eight hours to actually do this Pomodoro technique, that would be about a nine hour work day, depending on how much of a break you actually take in between tasks.
So those are the six simple steps of how to use the Pomodoro technique. So in order to figure out why this is so advantageous to many people who try to use it, we need to really understand why we avoid tasks.
Advantage – Why We Avoid Work
So as humans, our brains are wired to avoid negative feelings. And oftentimes we end up feeling like we don’t have self control, or we feel as if we’re being lazy and that’s not really true.
It’s just that your brain is trying to avoid the negative connotation that comes with you not having the control you want, or you not getting things done that you think need to be accomplished.
So it’s not a positive reaction to have to be working on large tasks, especially if you can’t accomplish them all in one day. Use the Pomodoro method to allow you the positive emotional energy that goes along with seeing progress.
Advantage – Break the Cycle
Now that we know we want to feel the postive energy from getting things done, you really need to break down those large projects into small to-do items. Creating the super tiny tasks that you can accomplish within the 25 minute timeframe is what will really help you be successful with this method
Those small steps will gain momentum because you will have that positive reinforcement that you get things done. And it’s going to allow you to stay hyper-focused on the current task versus worrying about all the other things that you need to get done that are not productive.
Advantage – Remove Distractions
You want to make sure that you can keep distractions away. Oftentimes we think of distractions and that there is nothing we can do as we have no control over them.
But the reality is, most distractions we have in our lives are self-inflicted. They are small things like checking social media and just scrolling and scrolling or saying, “Oh, I’ll respond to this email here really quick”.
But that little really quick situation adds up to lots and lots of lost time across your day. So schedule time for those, take one of your 25 minute Pomodoro blocks and use it to catch up on social media and your email.
Don’t just try to fit those distraction into your day or put them in between other things. You need to really schedule them, use the Pomodoro technique to avoid temptations and distractions. This way you won’t go off and do the things that you want to do. You need to make sure that you’re focusing on the tasks that need to get done.
Remember stop being busy just to be busy. Make sure you are being productive.
So what are some disadvantages to the Pomodoro method? Because every time management technique out there has a disadvantage, what are the, some of the things that we just need to be aware of to watch out for?
So here are three that I found:
- Underestimating the time it actually takes to accomplish something. This is so hard. We say, Oh well, I’ll, I should be able to get this done really, really quick. And then twenty-five minutes goes by, and you’re not even close to being done.
- The second disadvantage is jumping around and not actually doing things in order. So if I’m writing a blog post and say, okay, for the next 25 minutes, I’m just going to focus on graphics, but I haven’t actually figured out what the titles to my blog posts are this may not actually help me.
- And then last but not least is still not having enough Pomodoro time blocks to get everything done. I mean, our time is precious, and sometimes we don’t have enough time in the day to get everything done that we want to.
So how do you avoid these disadvantages or at least limit the risk they pose?
So you need to be really aware of the amount of time it’s going to take to accomplish that task or build yourself some leeway. So maybe don’t schedule one of your blocks with a to-do item so that you can go back and visit something you didn’t have time to get done.
So making sure that you plan out your pomodoro blocks in logical order. If you know the order tasks needs to be done in you can make sure they are done in order. This will help be more effective with your time.
Finally, KNOW what your priorities are and what things are urgent and on a timescale. Take advantage of having clear goals and priorities established.
Figuring out what tasks are actually priorities will help you manage your time most effectively. This is harder than it sounds. That is why I’ve created a workbook to help you figure this all out. Let’s get your actual business and life priorities straightened out.
Pomodoro Technique Wrap Up
I hope that you enjoyed learning more about the Pomodoro Technique for effective time management. Need some more resources to help you find the method that will work best?
Pop over and visit me on Facebook and tell me what you thought about this article. I would love to hear if this helped you get a better understanding of Pomodoro.