A few years ago, I was in a writing workshop and my teacher gave me a surprising piece of writing advice that wasn’t even about writing. It was about time management: Use the Pomodoro technique.
You might be thinking, “Wait a minute. Doesn’t the word Pomodoro mean ‘tomato’ in Italian? What does that have to do with my productivity?”
First of all, yes. Pomodoro does translate into tomato in Italian. But it makes sense, and it can help you with completing your work.
As I learned, this technique was invented in the 1980s by a student named Francesco Cirillo. He was having difficulty completing his work and so he chunked his time into small increments.
According to the version of the story I was told, a frustrated Cirillo found his grandmother’s kitchen timer, which was shaped in a tomato, set it for twenty-five minutes, got to work, and voila: the Pomodoro technique was created.
My Secret Weapon
Rare is the day or time when I don’t sit and my desk and open up my trusted Pomodoro App.
The timer gets set for 25 minutes. During this time, I do not answer emails or calls, nor do I interrupt myself by getting something to drink or eat. I turn off any and all distractions and commit myself to completing one pomodoro – 25 minutes.
When the timer goes off, I get up and take a 2-5 minute break. Not any shorter nor any longer.
Then I return to my distraction-free workspace and set another pomodoro – 25 minutes.
I repeat this 4 times.
By the end of my work session, I have completed 2 hours of focussed work.
How you can use Pomodoro Technique as your secret weapon
It’s simple and incredibly effective.
Although 25 minutes might not seem like a lot, you will be surprised at how much you can get done when you’re focussed. At the end of your first Pomodoro, you will find that you’re farther ahead than you think you can be.
You will find that what you were procrastinating on or unmotivated to tackle suddenly becomes quite achievable. As my writing teacher said, something magical happens during this time.
Let a little magic into your life. Try a Pomodoro and let me know in the comments below how it worked for you and if you’ll try to implement it into your work routine.