The Pomodoro Technique: Effective Technique For Time Management And Mental Fatigue
Ever thought about how some people are so effective with time management? While everyone is loaded with office work or studies, how come some people are able to complete it all without having mental fatigue or mental exhaustion?
Well, I have an answer…the secret to effective time management skills without having mental fatigue is the Pomodoro Technique.
Well, the basics of this technique to think about tomatoes in place of hours? It’s funny right; keep reading until I reveal the whole scenario behind this effective technique.
The life-changing Pomodoro technique refers to tomatoes in Italian. This technique is pretty simple, all you have to do is to alternate the pomodoros which means focus on work sessions and take short breaks for promoting concentration and to reduce the risk of having mental fatigue. Pretty simple, right?
Now, you must be thinking about where I should apply this technique…let me answer this for you. Below are some applications of this technique:
- You can use this technique if you find yourself distracted throughout the day
- You can take the help of this technique if you have consistently worked in the past in order to achieve optimal productivity like others.
- You can use this technique if you have lots of work that needs an unlimited amount of time.
- You can take the help of this technique if you feel you are extra-optimistic about how you can get things done within a day.
- If you enjoy goal-setting or if you really like tomatoes (kidding!)
What is the Pomodoro Technique?
The Pomodoro Technique was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s. As Cirillo struggled to focus on his assignments and studies, he found that he was feeling overwhelmed. So, he encouraged himself with the help of a tomato (Pomodoro) shaped timer.
Herein, the Pomodoro Technique took its actual place. Thereafter, Cirillo wrote a 130-page book covering this method. He mentioned that the biggest strength of this technique is its simplicity.
In a nutshell, the Pomodoro technique is all about:
- Preparing a to-do list and getting a timer.
- Setting the timer for 25 minutes and focusing on a single task until and unless the time completes.
- Whenever the session ends, mark off one Pomodoro and record whatever you have achieved.
- Then enjoy a short break (5-minute break).
- After achieving four pomodoros in a row, taking a longer 15-30 minute break.
Herein, 25-minute work with full concentration is the core of this technique. However, there are three rules for getting through four intervals:
1. Breaking down complex projects
The Pomodoro technique suggests that if any tasks require more than 4 pomodoros; they should be divided into small and actionable steps. By sticking to the first rule of the Pomodoro technique, you will be able to make clear progress in your work, assignments, and projects.
2. Small tasks go together
The Pomodoro technique also suggests that the tasks that take less time should be combined with simple tasks so that you can achieve all the small tasks in one go.
3. Setting pomodoros till the timer rings
The Pomodoro technique suggests that the unit of time is limited and cannot be broken, especially for upcoming tasks like messages, team meetings, or emails. If any ideas, requests, or tasks come up, they should be taken note of and should be done after achieving all the assigned pomodoros. It can be done with the help of a pen and paper, but if you wish to go digital, you can download suggested apps for Pomodoro from the last section.
Additionally, if the event comes up with disruption, you can take your 5-minute break and start over again. The developer of this technique also suggested that you can also track your interruptions as they help in reflecting your productivity and also suggests how to avoid them in future or coming tasks.
All three rules apply to all of the tasks and if you complete tasks before the timer goes off, it’s a win-win situation for you. You can use the extra time in learning, improving skills, or increasing knowledge. For example, as a writer, I spend my extra time researching networking opportunities and reading professional journals to polish my advocating skills.
Indeed, the technique and its system are simple because it is created in such a way. This technique is all about getting your mind in sync and in a zone wherein you can complete all of your tasks on time with 100% productivity and no mental fatigue or mental exhaustion.
Effectiveness of Pomodoro Technique
I know, even I found it funny in the beginning when I thought of tomatoes for increasing my productivity and managing time. But trust me, it is really worth it! Below are some explanations why this method is unique and effective for increasing productivity:
1. Makes it easy to just get started
Research shows that procrastination has so much to do with laziness. But, we cannot also deny the fact that it leads to negative thinking as well. However, studies also show that breaking out the working cycle and dividing the tasks into smaller tasks is really effective.
2. Combating distractions
If you are also someone who is constantly interrupted and you are not able to achieve the flow state, you can easily do it with the help of the Pomodoro Technique. Let me explain how while working you can simply turn off the notifications so that you can completely focus on the current task.
3. Becoming more aware of where your time goes
While planning your day or future projects, you can present yourself with self-imagination. Suppose you are giving or operating that entire project yourself with different time restraints and circumstances. This technique is an ultimate weapon for planning against fallacy.
4. Gamifies your productivity
Every tomato (Pomodoro) provides us an opportunity for improvement as Cirillo stated that “concentration and consciousness lead to speed, one Pomodoro at a time.” This approach is effective and best because it elaborates more about consistency instead of perfection.
Quick Tips for Applying Pomodoro Technique
As we know, 25 minutes of focus and 5 minutes break are the core of this technique, there are some more things that you can do to make your time management more effective:
1. Create a to-do list in advance
Take out 15 minutes before starting your work and plan everything. Include everything in your plan like what are your tasks for today’s tasks, how you want to proceed, how much time each task is going to take, and everything that comes into your mind while planning your tasks.
2. Create an overflow of pomodoros as well
We almost work for 8-9 hours a day technically which means you have to plan for 16 pomodoros, therefore, it is better to create a buffer of overflow as well (just in case something urgent comes in). Take the help of overflow pomodoros for longer or unexpected tasks so that you can end up completing all your tasks without any issue.
3. Keep experimenting with pomodoros
Working days are not similar; each day brings new challenges which means we have to plan new pomodoros every day in a creative way wherein we can actually achieve the flow state. Therefore, keep experimenting with pomodoros and make sure you have planned in such a way that increases your productivity, manages your time, and does not lead to mental fatigue or mental exhaustion.
4. Opt for a digital detox
While you are taking a 5-minute or 15-20 minutes break, try to avoid digital devices. Try to avoid screen time or social media so that you can give your eyes and brain a break. You can stand up, move around, and try 2-minute or 5-minute meditation.
5. Take the help of applications
You can try the Pomodoro app for planning your day or you can also take the help of apps that helps you in holding on to breaks. The below section will help you in finding the perfect app for planning your pomodoros.
Apps for Pomodoro Technique
Below are some best Pomodoro Apps to try:
- Paymo Pomodoro
- Focus Booster
- Focus Keeper
- Focus To-Do: Pomodoro Timer & To-Do List
- Marinara Timer
I hope this blog helps you to understand everything you wanted to know about the Pomodoro Technique. Comment down and share your experiences after applying this technique to your daily life. For more such content, connect with us on all social media platforms.
Thanks for reading!