Reach your goal faster with the Pomodoro technique

Pomodoro technique
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There are now countless time management techniques. All of them aim to make the best use of time and to work as productively as possible. A particularly popular technique, which is also often used in practice, is the so-called “Pomodoro technique”. This technique is the time management technique developed by the Italian Francesco Cirillo. Pomodoro translated means tomato and comes from Italian. The reason why exactly this name was used for the technique is that Cirillo took an egg timer as an aid. This had a particular resemblance to a tomato in terms of shape.

The so-called “tomato work unit

In the Pomodoro technique, the work units are divided exactly into 25 minutes. After each work unit there is a short break of 5 minutes. Once four consecutive work units have been completed, a break of 30 minutes is scheduled.

Pomodoro work unit
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In summary, this means:

  • 1 work unit corresponds to 25 minutes
  • after each unit of work there is a short break of 5 minutes
  • after four units of work, there is a long break of 30 minutes

This method of time management contributes significantly to an actual increase in productivity, as special efforts are made to complete as much work as possible in the specified time units.

Eliminate time wasters during the “Pomodoro Technique”

Before you start to implement this time management technique, you should first analyze exactly what is preventing you from working productively. As a rule, these are common time guzzlers that creep unnoticed into our daily work routine and distract us from our work. These include, above all, all unwanted interruptions and also disturbances such as chatting, telephone or also other distractions.

In addition, the fact that you are constantly “online” is also a significant disruptive factor, because who does not quickly check their emails before continuing with their work. Also, any status messages that are switched via social media can significantly contribute to interrupting the actual task that one is currently devoting oneself to. The constant ringing of the phone when a new Whatsapp message arrives is also one of the best-known time wasters and regularly pulls us out of our work. This list could go on for a long time. But especially with the Pomodoro technique, the goal is to completely shut off all time eaters for a period of 25 minutes, so that you can actually focus exactly on your work for 25 minutes and get all the important things done undisturbed.

As a rule, “shutting off” for 25 minutes can be easily integrated into the daily work routine in most cases.

Does it have to be exactly 25 minutes?

Of course, it is not mandatory that a work unit must be exactly 25 minutes. But as a rule, this time window has proven to be the best for the Pomodoro technique. Many are probably wondering now what exactly can be done in 25 minutes and what to do if a work task will take longer than 25 minutes? In such cases there are three different ways to divide the time:

  • either you spare one defined task of which you can assume that you will not need more than 25 minutes to complete it
  • several smaller tasks can be grouped together to complete the 25 minute unit. For example, answering emails or dealing with mail can be done together in one
  • if you have a task that will definitely take longer than 25 minutes, it is advisable to divide the task into smaller chunks accordingly

How to measure the time in the Pomodoro technique?

For the application of the Pomodoro technique, a simple egg timer is sufficient in most cases. However, if you don’t want to take your breakfast egg timer to the office, you can also use a simple hourglass as a timer. If you don’t want to use this timer, you can use your cell phone as a timer by setting the stopwatch to exactly 25 minutes.

application of the Pomodoro technique
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Why does the Pomodoro technique lead to an increase in productivity?

The reason why the Pomodoro Technique has been proven to lead to a significant increase in productivity is simply explained:

  • Breaks are especially important for us to keep our minds focused. The Pomodoro Technique, as mentioned above, provides regular breaks to help you stay focused and concentrated over time.
  • If you set yourself the goal of completing as much work as possible in 25 minutes, you will feel a sense of accomplishment inside. You will be less likely to be distracted by distracting factors and you will be able to get as much work done as possible so that you can take a well-deserved break.
  • With the precise 25-minute time allotment, you’ll think twice about whether you need to check the latest trends on Instagram or the latest status of friends on Facebook, or whether you need to move these activities to the break.

Helpful tips to get you started

In order for the Pomodoro technique to actually lead to an increase in productivity, it’s important to make a plan in advance. In practice, it is best to use the first 25 minutes to plan a work schedule. In those 25 minutes, you should clearly define what work steps you want to accomplish that day and how you can divide up your work so that you can get as much done as possible.

The main advantage of this is that

that you know exactly when which work is due and there are no unnecessary breaks. So you never have to worry about what your next work is. You can move seamlessly from one job to the next. Even if many think that 25 minutes of working time have already been wasted just to set up a work schedule. I can tell you with a clear conscience that you will easily make up the 25 minutes over the course of the day by implementing the Pomodoro technique correctly and organizing your work steps seamlessly. Already because you will work much more organized and also more efficient.

Therefore it is advisable to use the following approach:

  • Start with only one session at the beginning, i.e. four Pomodoro units.
  • Try to avoid all distracting factors at the beginning of this session. This includes stopping any tweets, Facebook updates or phone calls for this time.
  • Once you have successfully completed the first session, you can increase the units to eight Pomodoro units as you progress.
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