I first encountered this term in the course “Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential” by Barbara Oakley and Terry Sejnowski on Coursera. Yeah, back in the days I had a lot of free time, which I thankfully spent on this course rather than a series. Later on, the term kept popping up a lot, be it Thomas Frank, Ali Abdaal, or Ankur Warikoo. All of whom I religiously follow for content on Productivity and more.
Anyhow, the 1st question that might have come up in your mind would be like “Pomodoro? What is that?”
Pomodoro Technique is a popular time management method that asks you to alternate between focused work sessions and a break( a Pomodoro), which helps promote sustained concentration and ward of mental fatigue.
It is said that “The most difficult part about doing a task is getting started.” and Pomodoro helps combat that initial resistance that we feel towards doing some work. Be it a paper that you need to turn in or that presentation at work, we always start procrastinating and putting it off to the very last minute coz we think “What if it’s not going to be good enough?” or “Oh, I don’t think I’m in my creative space yet to start the work“. Well, guess what you just never know if it’s gonna be good enough until you start doing it Right? and Creativity.. yes! you need a zone for that but how long can you really stare at a blank canvas? You need to start with an idea. revise it again n again till you get your desired output.
So here is what you could do, you could start off with a Pomodoro of as small as 10 minutes with a 2-minute break. Avoid all kinds of distractions, zone out of your surroundings, and set a timer (so that your mind doesn’t have to wonder how long it has been, but it WILL, trust me, for the first few times) and only concentrate on your work. Don’t budge until your timer goes off, and then you will have realized that you have gotten into the flow of working. Give yourself a reward for this by taking a 2-minute break to stretch your legs. Don’t get on social media coz it will suck you right back in and then begin your next session. Keep repeating and Voila! It’s not so difficult anymore right?
The technique is used to counter procrastination, can be used as a sort of work meditation. Traditionally a Pomodoro consists of 25 minutes of focused work followed by a 5-minute break but you could customize it to suit your convenience by making it shorter or longer. It generally stems from the fact that the human brain is designed to focus on a task for not more than 25 minutes.
The Technique helps you resist all of those self-interruptions and re-train your brains to focus. Each Pomodoro is dedicated to one task and each break is a chance to reset and bring your attention back to what you should be working on. And after every 4 Pomodoros, you can take a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes.
Club tasks which take lesser than 25 minutes to complete, together. And divide those tasks which take longer than it into smaller actionable units.
There are a lot of apps available which can make your life much easier than a kitchen timer and so here are a few of them.
- Pomodor for a simple web-based
- Pomodoro timer
- Marinara Timer for a shareable web-based Pomodoro
- timerForest for a mobile Pomodoro timer
- Be Focused for Apple users
- KanbanFlow for combining Kanban with Pomodoro
- Toggl Track for combining Pomodoro with time-tracking
So what are you waiting for? Get your todo-list, divide it into tasks, turn on your Pomodoro, and START WORKING!