THE POMODORO TECHNIQUE
The Pomodoro Technique is a simple but effective method created by Franceso Cirillo. This method helps to overcome the lack of motivation and gain more control over one’s work. This is mainly for ones struggling with procrastination, people interested in time management and productivity, and anyone who is in search of simple tools to boost productivity.
Procrastination is not a new term for many of us. Most of us can relate to it because all of us are used to postponing things. Franceso Cirillo had also come across this stage in his life when he was at university. A realization came to him when he saw a tomato-shaped kitchen timer. From that timer, he learned to chop complex things into small, manageable, and motivating units called pomodori. This technique had helped many chronic procrastinators to get away from their guilt and learn to enjoy their work.
Time management is a difficult task that many cannot follow. Most of the time when we look at our to-do list, we see that nothing has been done. Time is precious and it just flies. Generally, we postpone our work and end up frustrated and fatigued. To overcome this unhealthy habit the Pomodoro technique can be followed. The concept of this method is to set a timer for 25 minutes and spend that time focusing on a single task. Once the timer rings, take a 5 minutes break to relax and drink a glass of water or move around a little. This helps in the relaxation of mind and refreshes the mind for the next task.
Structuring the work into small pomodori helps in easy work and also beneficial. Spending more time doing nothing and trying to do a huge amount of work at once is a great mistake. One must learn to divide the work into small, manageable tasks of 20 to 45 minutes a task, and so the assigned work with full focus without any distractions. As it is manageable by itself, it helps in maintaining high spirits while working and saves energy and sanity. On planning the day’s work, there will be a sense of satisfaction when the work is completed at the given time. I will help to accomplish more with less stress. This will space to spend time to relax and engage in other activities.
There are certain rules to be followed in this technique. The first rule is to complete the pomodori. There is no incomplete or half pomodori. Once the 25 minutes work starts, stay focused on the task with the concentration only on it without distractions/temptations. In case of distractions, cancel the pomodori and start it again. The second rule is to take a break after a pomodori. Breaks are mandatory and not optional. There should be a clear division between the time to focus and time to relax to stay motivated.
Breaks are meant for relaxation and to distract from work, it must not be utilized for any other purposes. If a work is completed before time, either review or recap the work but do not quit the pomodori. In addition to the 5 minutes break, take a long break of 15 to 30 minutes after four pomodori. When these rules are practiced regularly, it would become an internalized habit that would be done without thinking about it.
The tools required to utilize this technique are as simple as the method. The first one is a ‘timer’, anything from a stopwatch to a smartphone, not necessarily the original tomato-shaped kitchen timer. Once the 25 minutes is over, the timer would ring and the acoustic signals that are produced would help the mind to internalize to switch from focus to relaxation and vice versa.
The next tool is, ‘To Do Today list’ and inventory. The to-do today list will include all the tasks to be completed on the given day. These tasks come from an exhaustive inventory where all the tasks finished/to do are collected. The number of pomodori needed per day for the given tasks should be estimated at the start but this can only come with practice.
Enemies are present everywhere. Internal interruptions like an impulse to order pizza and external interruptions such as checking emails ruins productivity. Still, there are ways to overcome it. When internal interruptions pop into the mind, write it down on a piece of paper and continue the work. Once the pomodori is done reading it and many times it would go to the trash. For external interruptions, stop concentrating on other people’s business.
Hence, use the Pomodoro technique to complete complex work through simple ways by loving the work you do.
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