Cirillo, a university student wanted to device an effective plan for getting work done efficiently without working non-stop for hefty hours. So, he came up the epitome of time management technique in a tomato shaped timer called Pomodoro technique.
In this technique, you set the timer and work for 25 minutes straight and then take a 5-minute break to unwind. This one cycle makes up one Pomodoro. Of course, the number of Pomodoros required will depend upon the intensity of the task at hand but it is advised to take a relatively longer break of 15-20 minutes after four pomodoros.
The main essence of this technique which sets it apart from other productivity techniques is that it changes the perception about time in a positive manner. This theory motivates you to optimally utilize the time by considering it an ally not a rival. This technique gained most of it popularity after Cirillo published the book ‘The Pomodoro Technique’ which shed light on its effectiveness with extensive details. Today, this simple technique is quite sought-after among professionals and students for working on comprehensive tasks/assignments and meeting deadlines. It is ideal for people that are easily distracted, tend to over-work which leads to unproductivity or can be optimistic on an unrealistic level.
In a covid-ridden world where majority people are working from home and students with online classes, Pomodoro technique provide an ideal solution to sustain motivation and get work done.
There are three cardinal rules one have to adhere while following this technique to fully leverage it for one’s benefit:
- Dividing the complex task into simpler and smaller achievable steps.
- Amalgamate smaller tasks together. For instance, incorporate two or more tasks that can be done in one pomodoro time-frame.
- Some sort of timer should be in place to go off when the pomodoro ends. Today, there are various digital trackers softwares/apps available.
Two main aspects through which Pomodoro technique Increases Productivity and keeps you Motivated:
Steer clear from Distractions:
Distractions are inevitable especially when the tasks are being completed at home because there is no external monitoring and formal environment present. But nevertheless, distractions are manageable. Average attention span of humans makes the probability of getting frequently distracted very high. The prime reason for giving into distractions when working is because we don’t attribute some of the time to breaks. Combining no breaks with the constant interruptions and temptations of digital gadgets, productivity is bound to take a hit.
With Pomodoro technique, you have breaks to look forward to. There is solace that when the timer goes off, you are allowed to get distracted with whatever you want. Social media is the biggest temptation especially when working in an informal environment, but you need to exercise strong will power to let this technique show its effectiveness. However, there are some interruptions that are unavoidable (usually in a work place), so to manage such distractions use the “inform → negotiate → schedule → call back” method to delay it till you have time.
It will take some time to get a hang on this technique, so it is recommended to record the interruption and distractions that hinders the productivity. There can be internal distractions that you easily given in or external disturbances that you need to circumvent.
Procrastination is purposely delaying the work that needs to be done up until the last minute or sometimes even taking the task beyond deadlines. Not working on time without any genuine reason also brings anxiety and sometimes this lead to even more running away from doing work. With pomodoro you can sustain motivation as it will help you to stop procrastinating.
How? With pomodoro you have the whole schedule laid out for you, so it becomes easier to get started and stay focused on it. A complete layout of tasks with minuscule but blissful breaks makes the tasks less intimidating. It takes focus from the daunting thoughts of doing the hefty work to just going through the pomodoros , it gamifies the process.
Using pomodoro techniques also increase motivation as the tasks seem more doable. And when motivated , you get an adrenaline rush in the body that makes achieving goals seem easy and less tiring. Once you get motivated to do something you become more committed towards it and the triumphs boost the determination for achieving more and more too.
Some other advantages of using Pomodoro technique are:
- It increases accountability
- You become a better planner as recording the accomplishments will show how much time is required.
- It keeps you determined through out.
- You become better at managing expectations.
- Its powerful against planning fallacy—underestimating the time required to do the tasks.
Raja Suleman Raza, CEO at Spice Village
Suleman Raza is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the celebrated and multi-award-winning British restaurant group Spice Village and the President of the Grand Sapphire Hotels. He is also founder chairman of the British Muslims Foundation. Suleman is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He was also awarded the Brian Tracy Award of Excellence in 2017, a British Entrepreneur of Pakistani origin who has been ranked and included among the 100 most influential persons in the British food & hospitality industry by the UK Business Magazine in 2019. Suleman has also been awarded “The Curry King 2019 in Greater London“.