How to Use the Pomodoro Method to Increase Productivity

By
on April 05#best-practices

What is the Pomodoro method of productivity?

The Pomodoro method was created in the 1980s by Francesco Cirello as a system to improve both personal and work-life productivity. The concept of the Pomodoro method includes scheduling your day in 25-minute intervals, without distractions, (also known as timeboxing), and followed up with regular breaks. The Pomodoro methodology understands that as creatures of habit, following this system will allow you to get the most out of your day. Plus, as humans we all value taking a break from time to time, to recharge our systems.

Fixing inefficiencies and breaking 60 hour work weeks

A lot of individuals in the business world can get into the habit of becoming a workaholic. Working long hours, and around the clock doesn’t necessarily mean that your productivity output will change. Sometimes, working too much can actually decrease your productivity. By using the Pomodoro method, you can make sure you are working on the things that matter most to you, and save you time by increasing your efficiency.

“One day you will be more creative, productive, and yet more relaxed.”

- Francesco Cirello 

How to use the Pomodoro method

So, if you are like us, and curious to see how the Pomodoro method works for you. Here are the following steps to take.

  1. Find a timer and set it to 25 minutes.

  2. Identify which tasks you are going to work on for the day. (In Workast, you can see your priority tasks, current and open tasks, and more all on your Home dashboard.

  3. Put your head down and focus on the task at hand for 25 minutes until the buzzer goes off.

  4. Stop and take a 5-minute break - you’ve earned it. Go for a walk, grab a bite to eat, scroll through Facebook. Do whatever will help you relax.

  5. Repeat. 

  6. After every 4 intervals of 25-minute tasks, give yourself a 20-minute break to recharge and regroup.

*We recommend starting with just one cycle to get started as you are getting the hang of using the Pomodoro method. Do one cycle, see how it goes, and try doing two tomorrow. Progress at a speed that works best for you. Using the board view in Workast, you can quickly see how many Pomodoro’s you have completed and get the visual satisfaction of seeing your work progression.

Don’t give up

Trying out new styles of project management can feel overwhelming, and even if you love the style in which you work - we all have days where focusing is hard. The key is, understanding that you are human. A key with the Pomodoro method is that it gives you consistent breaks so that you can focus and regroup. If you’re struggling with focus or learning the Pomodoro method - don’t give up! Be kind to yourself, and regroup and try again when you’re ready. Take that 5 minutes to meditate, get outside, or have some coffee. You’ve earned it, and then you can get back to your tasks. Learning the Pomodoro method isn’t complicated, but it will take dedication. Dedicate yourself to stick with it and see how it works for you before giving up. (We think you’ll love it.)

Understand your distractions and creating a happy workspace

Going along with not giving up, is know your distractions. If you are working in a certain room, are you likely to be distracted? Set yourself up for success by knowing what might cause any distractions. Does having your phone in your hand lead to you surfing Reddit? Put it down. By setting yourself up to succeed you’re already one more step ahead into fully diving in with the Pomodoro method.

Simultaneously, take a look at your workspace. When was the last time you cleaned your desk or set out flowers? By making sure your workspace is a place that makes you comfortable, you’ll be less prone to want to leave your workspace. Give your home or work office a quick spin around and update or clean your workspace.

By following these steps you are on your way to a completely Pomodoroed life. Whether you use this method for your personal or professional goals - being more productive means you’ll have more time for YOU. And that’s ultimately the most important part.

Looking for other styles of project management and time management? Check out the agile methodology and see if that aligns with your goals. No matter what project management system you choose to use, we are proud of you for getting more done. 

Have you used the Pomodoro method? We’d love to hear how it went. Drop us a line or send us a tweet for a chance to get your story told on our blog!

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