Life throws so many distractions at us. Especially when we’re working. But more specifically when we’re working from home.
So how do you sit down and actually focus when you work from home? There has to be some sort of productivity method, right?
Well, there is. It’s called the Pomodoro Technique
How to Crush your To-Do List and Increase Productivity
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What is the Pomodoro Technique and who came up with it?
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management strategy created by a man named Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s.
Francesco came up with the name “Pomodoro Technique” because he used a tomato-shaped timer to keep track of time as he studied in college. “Pomodoro” is the Italian word for tomato. Clever, right?
There are a few simple steps to this productivity method;
1. Pick an item off of your to-do list
Before you start this method, you should have already made an organized to-do list that lists out tasks from least to most important, so you know where to start. Then, simply pick out the first task of the day.
2. Set a timer for 25 minutes
A timer on your phone will work just fine, but later I’ll be going over a few helpful apps you can use as well!
3. Work on the task, no interruptions, for the full 25 minutes
That means to silence the phones, get off of Facebook and close all the unnecessary tabs on your computer (Directed mostly at me!) Now, you can fully immerse yourself into the task at hand- no distractions!
4. When the timer rings, put a checkmark on a piece of paper
This is to keep track of how many “Pomodoro sessions” you’ve done so far.
5. Take a short break
For example, step away from your desk, have a cup of coffee or meditate. Do whatever it is you need to do to get your mind off the task. Usually, all you’ll need is 5 minutes.
6. Repeat this process 4 times, then take a longer break
After doing 4 more 25 minute Pomodoro sessions, reward yourself with a longer break! 20-30 minutes is recommended.
Be sure to step away from your desk during this break. Do your best to clear your mind of the task you were doing. For example, you could use it as a lunch break just like you would for a normal job!
Once you’ve finished your break, all you have to do is repeat this process as many times as needed to finish all the tasks on your to-do list! Pretty simple right?
Why does the Pomodoro Technique work?
-It forces you to focus
This productivity method works so well because when you are against the clock, you have no choice but to focus on one task at a time. Therefore, limiting the urge to get distracted.
While some people might find “racing against the clock” to be stressful, remind yourself that you can always reset the clock after a 5-minute break if you don’t finish the task. Don’t let that become an excuse to get distracted, however!
–Working with a focus increases productivity
Working with a focus for a short period of time and then getting up, walking away and coming back to your desk with a fresh mind really helps with productivity.
It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to work for hours on end and not so much as move to itch their nose. We get so into the hustle and bustle that we forget how much time has passed!
-Helps time management
You can better manage your time under this productivity method because it forces you to be conscious of the time that passes! Therefore, making you work harder on the tasks to get them done within your allotted time.
There won’t be the urge to check your email, Facebook or the text message that you just heard come in. You have a task to finish, and a clock to beat! It seems funny that in order for us to be conscious that time is passing, we have to physically set a timer, doesn’t it?
-Breaks keep your mind focused
It can be hard when you are working so heavily on a project to remember to take breaks throughout to let your mind rest. So, setting a timer as a reminder can be a great way to ensure that you don’t burn yourself out in one sitting. This way, you can stay productive the whole day through (And you’ll remember to eat)!
What do you do during the Pomodoro Technique break?
You use the breaks as a re-charge to ensure that you’ll stay motivated and refreshed throughout the day.
Use the short breaks to clear your mind. For example, try closing your eyes, taking a deep breath and meditating. On the other hand, you could refill your drink, grab a small snack or anything else that you can fit into a small 5-ish minute break.
Then of course, throughout your longer 20-30 minute break you can go for lunch (away from your desk) and really clear your head.
After your break, you’ll come back feeling motivated, excited to get back to work and you might even have come up with something while you were away! Perhaps something you might not have come up with if you’d just stayed and kept working without a break!
What are the best apps to use to keep track of time?
As mentioned before, you could use your phone timer. Or you could use my personal favorite Google timer. I like this one the best because it is just one Google search away and I can keep it open in another tab. Therefore, you have super easy access to restart it!
However, there are other apps specifically set up for the Pomodoro Method;
These apps are great for keeping track of time, or you could just buy yourself a regular old egg timer just like the original (shown above)!
The Pomodoro Technique is a really great productivity method and can help you focus and get more work done. And as an entrepreneur, every second counts!
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Will you be trying the Pomodoro Technique? Have you tried any like it? What are your methods for productivity? Let me know in the comments below!
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