I’ve recently started using the Pomodoro Technique when doing my work. Chris Winfield introduced this to me in his blog, and he has a great online booklet which got me started. Thanks, Chris!
This technique was created by Francesco Cirillio in the eighties. He named it Pomodoro after the Italian word, pomodoros, plural for tomato, because he used a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato to time his work and break it into twenty-five minute increments.¹
The gist of this method is to work on ONE task for twenty-five minutes, and then to take a five minute break. No multi-tasking. No answering phone or email. Just pure, unadulterated focus on one thing. The goal is to do eight Pomodoros a day. Total focused work time? 16.7 hours a week. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but think about how many hours of pure focus you’d pile up compared with the many hours of distracted focus, and it becomes an impressive number. Other work like returning phone calls, email, talking with colleagues and staff will take up more time, but the goal is to really FOCUS and get important work done.
A free online tool Chris suggested which I’ve adopted is: kanbanflow.com. This even has a Pomodoro timer built into the app. I’ve been using this technique for the past week, and my productivity has increased incredibly. Check it out for yourself.
Questions for Reflection:
Are you getting as much done each week as you want?
How would trying this technique possibly help your productivity?