The Pomodoro Technique
What is the Pomodoro Technique?
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management technique that involves working for 25 minutes, taking a 3-5 minute break and then repeating the process. The 25 minutes bursts of work are called “Pomodoros”. After 4 Pomodoros you take a longer 15-20 minute break before resuming. The idea is to keep your mind fresh and energy levels high. For me the technique actually proved to also be a great way to overcome procrastination. Check out the Wikipedia page for Pomodoro here.
My experience with the technique
For the last few weeks I’ve been trying out the Pomodoro Technique while doing my web design work. For me, the biggest benefit of using the technique is that it crushes procrastination and makes getting started on work much easier. Sometimes looking at all of the work I have ahead of me to get the job done feels like standing at base of Mount Everest looking up. It’s easy to procrastinate rather than take that first step. Breaking the climb into 25 minute bursts makes getting started about a thousand times easier.
My biggest issue with using the technique is actually stopping and taking a break after 25 minutes. 25 minutes seems like just enough time to get into a good flow. Compared to procrastination and self loathing this is a good problem to have! After my 25 minute “Pomodoros” I often feel excited to get back in the flow of my work. I spend my 5 minute breaks thinking about how best to tackle the next round of tasks.
What are the benefits?
I think the biggest benefit of the Pomodoro Technique is that it’s a great way to practice overcoming procrastination. You start to get good at jumping right into your work without hesitation because you get to practice it over and over with each “Pomodoro” you complete. The other benefit is that it keeps your mind fresh and you avoid getting too entrenched in your work and losing focus.
I think the Pomodoro Technique is definitely worth trying out if you have trouble with procrastination or losing focus from working for too long without breaks. For me the technique has been very useful for overcoming procrastination, but I don’t see myself using it long term. The more I use the technique the less I feel I need to use it. Rather than a long term solution I think it’s more of a tool or “life hack” to help get you to where you want to be. Once you’re there I say go your own way and rest easy knowing that you can always dust off that old Pomodoro timer any time procrastination starts to get the better of you.
Here’s a link to my favorite Pomodoro timer http://tomatoi.st/dxdr
What do you think?
Have you used the Pomodoro Technique? Feel free to leave a comment, I’d love to hear what you thought about it!