Get More Done in Less Time: How to Do Pomodoro Technique Like a Pro
Updated: Jan 15
One of the secrets to productivity is focus. But staying in focus all the time is not an easy feat. Looking for a simple time management tool to boost your productivity? Discover the step-by-step processes and advanced tips on how to do Pomodoro Technique to boost productivity and get more done in less time.
Modern people know it too well. It's easy to lose focus and get distracted by menial things. If you have too many things on your plate without knowing the priority, you'll just do whatever comes your way - or play those cat videos and do nothing at all. Imagine turning off the computer at the end of your workday, feeling exhausted, but achieving nothing. Sounds familiar?
You'll need to know how to do Pomodoro Technique. It is a productivity-enhancing technique that will help you manage your work time and finish your tasks. It also helps you understand yourself better, reevaluate your understanding of productivity, and improve your approach to project management.
What is the Pomodoro Technique?
The Pomodoro technique is a time management method that involves using a timer to break down work into 25-minute intervals separated by five-minute breaks. The technique helps to boost productivity by giving a sense of urgency to complete a task within the interval and allowing for short breaks to refocus and grab a snack.
At the end of every fourth set, the break is set to be longer - usually around 20–30 minutes. You can restart the sets from the beginning if you need to.
Why 25 minutes? One interval - or commonly said one Pomodoro - is set to a 25-minute work sprint because it's the perfect length of time to stay in focus before one starts mind wandering. This setting will also keep the productivity level high and stop procrastinating.
In a single Pomodoro, you must focus on doing ONLY ONE task. You'll learn to resist the self-interruptions and re-train your brain to focus. The breaks are designed to reset, refresh, and help bring your attention back to the current task at hand.
One of the key benefits of using the Pomodoro Technique is that it helps you to increase productivity by breaking down your work day into focused work intervals separated by short breaks. This allows you to stay focused and get more done in less time.
The technique becomes popular because it's simple. Different from many productivity methods out there, there are no complicated rules and conditions to memorize. All you need is a timer. Even glancing at your watch or wall clock is enough.
A Kitchen Timer and The Brief History of Pomodoro Technique
Where did this Pomodoro method originate from? And why named the productivity slash time management method "tomato"? Pomodoro is the Italian for tomato.
It goes back to the late 1980s, the time when young Francesco Cirillo needed extra time to live as a university student. Since he couldn't exactly create more time, he needed to improve his productivity to free more time. Thus, the Pomodoro Technique was born.
There was no Pomodoro timer app back then because the mobile phone hasn't been invented yet. And also, because he's just invented the technique. So, he used the available tool in the vicinity - a tomato-shaped kitchen timer to time the 25-minute and 5-minute chunks.
And, like everybody always says, the rest is history.
How To Use the Pomodoro Technique to Improve Your Productivity?
The Pomodoro Technique timer allows us to be human. We do love our regular breaks, be it a 15 or a 5-minute break after some amount of work periods. The breaks keep us sane. That said, having more frequent breaks than your focus time will kill your productivity. You need to find the best balance.
One way to use the Pomodoro Technique is to create a to-do list, put the things you need to complete in the inbox, and then use the 25-minute intervals to work on specific tasks. After four consecutive pomodoros, take a longer break and reevaluate your to-do list. This can help you stay focused and motivated, and prevent feeling overwhelmed while you get things done.
Additionally, it is important to give your eyes a rest from staring at a screen by using the 5-minute breaks to look away or do something else.
To plan your pomodoros for the work day, Cirillo recommends determining the tasks that will take less than 25 minutes to complete and building in a buffer of 2-4 pomodoros for tasks that may take longer.
The key is effective planning. Here are a few pointers that you can implement.
Set Up Your Priorities
How do you expect to achieve anything if you don't know what to do? And how do you know that you don't end up doing random things just to look busy?
So, before you do anything else, list down all the important and urgent things to tackle first. Limit the number of tasks to handle each day so that you can work efficiently and won't get overwhelmed.
How many tasks should you put on the list? Only you know your capacity. Don't overestimate yourself, but don't undersell yourself either. The rule of thumb is between three and six important and urgent tasks per day.
To know more about setting up priorities, read the INI UNU - Ivy Lee Method.
Decide on the Number of Pomodoros
The next step of the Pomodoro Technique is to plan how many Pomodoro slots you need and how many Pomodoro sessions per day you can fit into your schedule.
This calls for an honest review of what you can do and how you work. You’re the only one who knows how many slots you need. It questions you about how much real work you can do in each twenty-five-minute sprint.
Before you begin, take a look at your to-do list and plan out how many pomodoros you will need to complete all of your tasks. This will help you stay on track and avoid feeling overwhelmed.
There’s no right or wrong answer here, it’s just an objective question about how much you can produce, and once again, only for you to answer.